Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

February 22, 2016

Orange barrels on a highway

Minnesota receives Federal Railroad Administration grant

Funding will upgrade Humboldt Avenue crossing in Minneapolis

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota is one of eight states to receive funding from the Federal Railroad Administration to upgrade or close railroad crossings, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The funding will increase the safety of railroad crossings along routes where crude oil and other hazardous materials travel.

The FRA last week awarded nearly $10 million for nine projects, including one to upgrade the signal system and add medians at the Humboldt Avenue crossing in Minneapolis. The 37-year-old signal system will reduce false alarms and the risk of inadequate signal timing. Medians will be installed to prevent drivers from driving across tracks around the gate arms, eliminating the risk of deadly crashes.

“Improving safety at dangerous rail crossings like this one, across Minnesota, remains an urgent priority for my administration,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “This funding will help, but we still need a long-term investment in statewide railway improvements to assure the safety of all Minnesotans.”
“This funding will make this critical crossing safer, reducing crashes and modernizing the signals,” said Tim Henkel, Modal Planning and Program Management assistant commissioner.

MnDOT partnered with Hennepin County to apply for the funding.

“Improvements are coming to an area where four distinct railway operations converge, a county road intersects with tracks and a number of pedestrians who are elderly or disabled live. It should also serve to protect Shingle Creek,” said Mike Opat, Hennepin County commissioner. “Hennepin County is glad to be collaborating with MnDOT on this effort to address priority crossings.”

The project is estimated to cost $955,500. The FRA award is for $716,000. MnDOT will pay the balance.

Design work on the project will begin this summer with construction completed by fall 2017.

The FRA received 34 eligible applications requesting $50.8 million. Other Midwestern states receiving funding were Wisconsin, North Dakota and Illinois.

Read the FRA’s news release. For more information on MnDOT’s rail safety program, go to www.mndot.gov/aboutrail/.



To learn more about funding Minnesota’s transportation system visit Get Connected at www.dot.state.mn.us/getconnected