Office of Rail Transportation

HIGHWAY-RAILROAD GRADE CROSSING SURFACE REPAIR PROGRAM

Cross sign

The grade crossing surface repair program participates in the cost to rebuild highway-railroad grade crossings. This program assists in maintaining safe and smooth crossing surfaces at highway-railroad crossings.

Only public crossings are eligible for assistance. Eligible applicants include cities, counties, railroads and spur track owners. Either a railroad owner or a roadway jurisdiction may initiate discussions regarding surface repair funding, however, the application must be initiated by the roadway jurisdiction and approved by the railroad. 

FUNDING AVAILABILTY

Nine hundred thousand dollars in an annual appropriation from Iowa's Road Use Tax Fund assists cities, counties and railroads with surface repairs. Projects selected for funding receive 60% of the cost of repairs from the Grade Crossing Surface Repair Fund. The highway authority and railroad must each agree to pay 20% of the total project cost. When a rail spur at a public crossing is owned by a private industry or agricultural cooperative, that entity assumes the costs normally paid by the railroad as owner of the track.

The available funding allows a limited number of surface improvements each year. Currently, there is a multi-year wait for funding. Roadway jurisdictions are encouraged to consider applying for funding before a crossing condition deteriorates significantly.

The Iowa DOT also allocates funds from the Primary Road Fund to rebuild and repair highway-railroad grade crossing surfaces on state primary roads. This allows the grade crossing surface repair fund to focus on city and county projects, reducing the existing backlog of projects.

Project Selection

Projects are selected from applications received for eligible projects.

A portion of the repair fund, not to exceed 50 percent annually, is set aside to meet critical or atypical needs. The criteria used to identify priorities for this portion of the funding include, but are not limited to:

  • condition of the crossing;
  • safety concerns;
  • utilization of the rail line;
  • train and motor vehicle traffic density at the site - special consideration may be given to heavy truck traffic; and
  • recent or planned development or construction in the vicinity of the crossing

Remaining funds are allocated to eligible projects in the order completed applications are received by the department. Projects will be advanced if funding becomes available.

Recommendations are made annually to the Iowa Transportation Commission for funding approval.

Engineering Standards

If a railroad performing or contracting a highway-railroad grade crossing improvement lacks specific company standards, the joint BNSF/UP engineering crossing standards shall be used as guidance.

Application forms and information

An application for funding must be initiated by the roadway jurisdiction and approved by the railroad prior to submittal. Roadway jurisdictions can find contact information for the state's railroads here, if unsure of your local railroad contact.

Applications will be accepted on the forms provided by the department and are accepted throughout the year. Submit your application via e-mail to Kris Klop, crossing surface program manager.

Iowa Grade Crossing Surface Repair Fund Application (Form 291302)
Note: Application is best viewed in Internet Explorer. Contact Kris Klop at 515-239-1108 for any technical issues opening the form. The electronic form submission system is temporarily out of service.


Additional information

Iowa Administrative Rule 761--821 is the implementing directive for Iowa Code sections 312.2(2), 327G.29 and 327G.30

For further program information or questions, e-mail Kris Klop or call 515-239-1108

The Funding Guide provides information on this and a variety of other funding programs available for transportation projects.

Applications, recommendations and awards

Projects funded under this program are approved by the Iowa Transportation Commission.

Applications


Recommendations


Awards (approved by the Iowa Transportation Commission)