Posts Tagged ‘US Department of Transportation’

Railroads Get Truck Driving Hours of Service Exemption

December 24, 2020

Railroads have received an exemption from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to the hours of service law for truck drivers.

The agency granted the exemption because it was “likely to achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level of safety that would be obtained in the absence of the exemption.”

The exemption will be effective until Dec. 18, 2025.

The request for the exemption had been made by the Association of American Railroads, and American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association.

The trade groups said it was needed to provide flexibility for maintenance workers who need to respond to an emergency

U.S. 30 Project gets Ohio’s Only Build Grant

November 14, 2019

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced on Wednesday the awarding of $900 million in federal BUILD grants for 55 transportation infrastructure projects in 35 states including one project in Ohio.

That project involves rebuilding U.S. 30 in Canton.

Only a handful of rail-related projects were funded in the latest round of Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development grants.

In a news release, DOT said the grants were awarded on a competitive basis to projects with a significant impact on their local or regional communities.

The U.S. 30 project received $18 million that will be used on the $116 million project to build a three-mile freeway extension from Trump Avenue to Ohio Route 44.

Eventually U.S. 30 will be improved to freeway standards to the West Virginia border.

No BUILD grants were awarded for any Michigan projects. Pennsylvania received two grants, including $18 million to build a cargo facility at Pittsburgh International Airport.

A grant of $12.6 million was awarded to reopen the PATCO Speedline rail station at Philadelphia’s Franklin Square.

The station was built 1936 but has been closed since 1979 because of low ridership.

The $25.2 million project will make structural, mechanical and electrical improvements, and to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

The Indiana Department of Transportation received a $16 million grant to build a new interchange on Interstate 65 northwest of Indianapolis. Two other existing interchanges in the vicinity will be rebuilt or modified.

The West Virginia Department of Transportation received $20 million to widen Interstate 64 in Charleston between the U.S. 35 and Nitro interchanges.

Two Kentucky highway projects also received BUILD grants. A $10.2 million grant was awarded to rebuild 6.3 miles of U.S. 460 in Paris from Russell Cave Road to the U.S. 27 bypass.

A $9.8 million grant was awarded for the development of the 13.4-mile Heartland Parkway in Taylor and Marion counties.

DOT Seeking Environmental Review Changes

September 29, 2017

Regulatory changes being proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation are being touted as designed to streamline the environmental review process for multimodal projects.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao said the proposed changes will bring the Federal Railroad Administration’s  environmental review process into harmony with procedures used by the Federal Transit Administration and Federal Highway Administration.

A DOT news release said that the proposal, which has been sent to the Federal Register for publication, is being made so that multimodal projects are required to follow only one process rather than multiple agency processes.

Under the proposed rules, most concrete and steel bridges built after 1945 would be exempt from historic sites review.

In her AASHTO speech, Chao said that DOT is seeking to identify ways to eliminate unnecessary paperwork and bureaucracy that will save states time and money, and reduce burdensome compliance costs.

“Important new regulatory and policy changes are underway at the Department to help deliver infrastructure projects faster, and in a more cost effective manner,” she said.

Chao said DOT has issued an updated guidance policy for the application of categorical exclusions for multimodal projects. The new rules allow one USDOT agency to use the categorical exclusions of another USDOT agency for certain multimodal projects.

2016 Tiger Grant Winners Being Named

July 29, 2016

Although the U.S. Department of Transportation has not announced the winners of the 2016 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grants, word is beginning to leak out about which bids have been chosen.

Thus far public officials in Tiger grantsIllinois, Mississippi, New York, Rhode Island and Washington have issued news releases detailing funding awarded to projects in those states.

DOT is awarding $500 million for the eighth round of TIGER. It received 585 applications requesting $9.3 billion.

The agency has said that its 2016 focus is on capital projects that generate economic development and improve access to reliable, safe and affordable transportation for urban and rural communities.