Birmingham, Trussville join Norfolk Southern to improve quality of life around railroads

Published: Sep. 2, 2022 at 4:18 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Crossing Elimination Planning act is exactly what it sounds like. With the help of federal funding, the city of Birmingham, Trussville and Norfolk Southern are looking at ways to improve the quality of life driving and living near railroads.

Birmingham City Council member Darrell O’Quinn serves as the chair of the transportation committee. He said trains upwards of one mile long will sometimes be parked on crossings for hours at a time. This creates traffic inconveniences and, in some areas, blocks homeowners in.

The federal grant is $10 million. 20% of that is required to come from local funding. Norfolk Southern has committed $1.5 million. Birmingham and Trussville are each putting up $250,000.

The grant is for the initial planning and engineering phase. O’Quinn said plans include bridges and tunnels that will eliminate crossings.

The plans will also include reconstructing affordable housing near rail lines to eliminate noise pollution.

“There are no guarantees. I think we have a very compelling project. There is some element of chance here and just fingers crossed that it actually get selected for funding,” said O’Quinn.

The application is due on October 4. If it is picked up, that is when the conversation will begin on construction.

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