Senators Reverend Warnock, Ossoff Announce Over $3 Million in New Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Investments to Eliminate Blocked Rail Crossings in Georgia  

The grants will improve mobility for residents in Chatham, DeKalb, and Gwinnett County

Senator Reverend Warnock advocated for projects in Gwinnett and Chatham projects in letters to the Department of Transportation (DOT)

Funding made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’sRailroad Crossing Elimination Grant Program

Last month, Senator Reverend Warnock advanced two critical provisions to address stalled trains trapping Atlanta residents in their neighborhood

Senator Reverend Warnock’s amendments to the Railway Safety Act of 2023would update grant program to provide additional support for projects that would eliminate crossings near schools, along school bus routes

Georgia ranks #9 in the country for most reports of blocked crossings since December 2019

Senator Reverend Warnock: “Our communities thrive when we are better connected”

Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Jon Ossoff (D-GA) announced $3.2 million in federal funding for projects designed to improve mobility by eliminating railway-highway crossings and study construction alternatives to address safety, connectivity, and environmental sustainability. The funds are allocated from the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant Program, made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law championed by Senators Warnock and Ossoff. The grants will help fund projects in Chatham, DeKalb, and Gwinnett County. 

In Chatham County, the grant will help the Chatham Multimodal Community Improvement Project eliminate 11 at-grade crossings and improve access to an existing port facility in the cities of Savannah, Garden City, and Port Wentworth, Georgia. This project aims to improve access to the Port of Savannah, Georgiaand improve mobility for residents in the area by removing rail lines that bisect neighborhoods. 

In DeKalb County, the project will develop a grade separation at the Constitution Road crossing on Norfolk Southern’s Atlanta Terminal subdivision, modifying the physical infrastructure around the right-of-way to allow safe passage from one side of the tracks to the other. This crossing is located near Norfolk Southern’s Atlanta facility and is blocked approximately 45 times a day.

And in Gwinnett County, the Board of Commissioners’ proposed planning project will conduct a study on three crossings experiencing challenges with safety, traffic increases, and curved approaches. The project aims to determine feasible construction alternatives to promote stronger connectivity and socioeconomic equity. 

“Our communities thrive when we are better connected, which is why I have been working to strengthen rail safety and tackle the dangerous conditions posed by stalled trains in Georgia,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law continues to deliver historic investments for Georgians in every corner of the state. These latest grants will help alleviate stalled trains that hinder mobility, and allow communities to pursue alternatives that help our children get to school safely and promote greater accessibility for all.”

“After hearing from communities statewide about railroad crossing blockages that are not just inconvenient, but downright dangerous, Senator Warnock and I elevated this as one of our highest priorities. Resources through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Laware now flowing across the State of Georgia to plan and begin construction to address this crisis. We’ve listened, we’ve heard, we’ve acted, and help is on the way,” Senator Ossoff said.

Last month, Senator Warnock secured the passage of two critical provisions in the Railway Safety Act of 2023 to address stalled trains trapping Atlanta residents in their neighborhood, and would update the grant program to provide additional support for projects that would eliminate crossings near schools, along school bus routes. And in 2021, Senator Warnock joined Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) to introduce the bipartisan Railway Upgrades for Rural American Lines (RURAL) Act to build on the successes already found through the Section 130 grant program and help states modernize unsafe or functionally outdated railroad warning devices. 

Last year, Senator Ossoff launched an inquiry with the Federal Railroad Administration as part of the Agency’s ongoing investigation into trains causing traffic delays. As part of his inquiry, Senator Ossoff submitted testimonials from cities, counties, and constituents across the state — from Garden City to Griffin — encountering blocked railroad crossings, harming residents’ abilities to work, school, the grocery store, doctor’s offices, and more.