$21M Federal Build Grant to be Used to Revamp CSX Tracks in Downtown Erie, Pennsylvania

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded a $21 million grant to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for a project in downtown Erie that will involve removing some CSX tracks and building a multimodal bridge.

The work is part of the Erie Bayfront Parkway Mobility and Freight Improvement Program that seeks to improve traffic flow.

The $63.8 million project also includes reconstructing three major highway intersections, and creating a bike and pedestrian trail.

The track to be removed is 2,400 feet in length and currently used for freight car storage.

To mitigate the loss of track, the project calls for building a multimodal bridge that will replace two grade crossings.

The bridge will be located adjacent to the Pennsylvania Soliders’ and Sailors’ Home. The project will enable CSX to extend its freight yard further to the east.

Proponents of the project say it will provide better connections between Erie’s central business district with the Lake Erie waterfront and close gaps in a multi-use trail network.

This will, proponents say, increase transportation choices to the waterfront area by removing remove physical barriers.

The federal funds are coming from the Better Using Investments to Leverage Development program.

The same program will also provide $13.5 million for a Kentucky project to replace four bridges on U.S. Route 79 in Russellville, including one over CSX tracks that will increase clearance for trains.

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