FRA Issues Final Rule for Rail Relocation and Improvement Grant Program

WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has issued a Final Rule detailing the eligibility requirements and selection criteria for capital grants under the Rail Line Relocation and Improvement program created in the SAFETEA-LU legislation.

In order to be eligible for grant funding, a project must mitigate the adverse effects of rail traffic on safety, motor vehicle traffic flow, community quality of life or involve a lateral or vertical relocation of any portion of the rail line. Under the law, half of all grant funds are reserved for projects costing no more than $20 million each.

A state or other eligible entity will be required to pay at least 10 percent of the shared costs of the project. Congress appropriated $20,040,200 for this program for FY2008 with $5,240,000 directed to nine non-competitive projects.

FRA intends to issue a Notice of Funding Availability later this year following which applications will be accepted for a competitive selection process for the remaining program funds.