The state Transportation Commission has approved funding to improve 19 additional railroad crossings as well as funding for warning device projects at crossings.

The DOT’s Tammy Nicholson says six surface improvement projects were added to the list of projects planned to take place in 2013 with 13 more approved to be scheduled in 2015. “The funding is available to railroads, industries that own public crossings, and the highway authorities through an annual application program. Applications must submitted jointly by railroads and the highway authorities to be considered for funding,” Nicholson says.

The Highway-Railroad Crossing Surface Repair Program covers 60-percent of the repair costs, with the railroad and the city or county each paying 20-percent. Funding for the program comes from the Iowa Road Use Tax Fund. Nicholson says over 30 projects were approved by the commission under the Highway-Railroad Crossing Safety Program.

“The program provides 90-percent of the cost of the safety improvement with the remaining 10-percent paid by the highway jurisdiction, the railroad or a portion paid by each,” Nicholson says.

Funding for the program comes from the Federal Highway-Railroad Crossing Program. You can see a list of projects at:

The Transportation Commission also approved funding for eight State Recreational Trails Program projects at their recent meeting in Mason City. The DOT’s Craig Markley says the program was created 25 years ago with the purpose of developing and maintaining recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both motorized and non-motorized trail users.

He says the funding is available to cities, counties, state agencies and non-profit organizations through an annual application program. Markley says it’s a competitive application process with only 20-percent of the applicants being awarded funding. “We received 39 applications requesting nearly 21-million-dollars,” Markley says. He says the recommendation to the commission was to award funding to the eight projects for a total of  $3,469,000.

The largest award was given to the Polk County Conservation Board and the city of Ankeny for $ 782,500  to construct the Ankeny Connector to the High Trestle Trail.

Here are the other awards:
Bellevue Rivervue Trail – Phase II  $260,774
Bridging the Gap: Phase I Dry Run Trail Decorah’s Trout Run Trail to the Prairie Farmer Recreational Trail $380,265
Farragut to Shenandoah Trail Connection (Farragut): $487,500
Iowa River Scenic Trail (Hardin County Board of Supervisors and Marshalltown): $775,000
Multiuse Mississippi River Trail, Riverdale Section, Phase 2 (Riverdale): $318,644
Pioneer Beach Road Trail (Orleans and Dickinson County Trails Board): $371,479
Raccoon River Valley Trail to High Trestle Trail Connector (Dallas County Conservation Board): $92,897

(Reporting by Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City)