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Michigan wins another 'State of Good Repair' grant
Jon Davis
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Michigan wins another 'State of Good Repair' grant

Michigan was the Midwestern winner in the latest round of federal “State of Good Repair” grants for fiscal year 2020, announced Oct. 28 by the Federal Railroad Administration.

The Michigan Department of Transportation won up to $15,570,327 for 11 projects to modify track curves between Ypsilanti to Jackson that, when completed, are expected to provide a 7-minute reduction in trip times on the Wolverine and improve operational reliability and grade crossing safety throughout the Detroit-Chicago corridor.

Work will include rehabilitation and improved geometry for 42 horizontal curves, installing 80,000 feet of rail and related safety enhancements at 16 public and eight private at-grade crossings, including roadway vertical profile changes and active warning device installation.

A total of $291,442,706 was available from the FRA for fiscal year 2020 project awards. 

This is Michigan’s second State of Good Repair grant award this year. In May, the state won up to $6,521,957 in FY 2019 funds to rehabilitate and upgrade signal and track infrastructure on the state-owned Kalamazoo-Dearborn corridor, used by Wolverine and Blue Water services as well as multiple freight operators.

That work includes signal and grade crossing component rehabilitation, including replacing switch machines, switch heaters, backup power generators, and 26 gate crossing mechanisms at 18 crossings along the line. Additional work includes replacing 10 turnouts used to move on and off the mainline tracks.

Authorized by the FAST Act of 2015, the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair grant program provides funding for capital projects to repair, replace or rehabilitate qualified railroad assets to reduce the state of good repair backlog and improve intercity passenger rail performance. (UPDATE: See the current list of all Midwestern grant awards here.) 

Eligible capital projects include work to either replace existing assets in-kind, or replace existing assets with assets that increase capacity or provide a higher level of service; to ensure that service can be maintained while existing assets are brought to a state of good repair; or to bring existing assets to a state of good repair.

Eligible recipients include states, groups of states, an interstate compact, Amtrak (acting on its own behalf or under a cooperative agreement with one or more states), political subdivisions of states, a public agency or publicly chartered authority established by one or more states, or any combination of those entities.

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