Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Spokane Valley Seeking Grants to Separate Trains from Traffic- Again

The intersection at Barker Road and Trent Avenue.
Spokane Valley is hoping the third time will be the charm when it comes to obtaining federal funds
for two busy railroad crossings. Increased rail traffic and train horns spurred the City Council to try again to get federal grants that would fund a portion of grade-separation projects at Barker and Pines roads.

The cost to build an overpass at Barker Road just south of Trent is about $29.2 million. The city has already received some funding, and, if received, federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) funds would cover up to 80 percent of the total cost.

Another possible grant source – Fastlane, from the U.S. Department of Transportation – targets high-freight areas, which the crossings at Barker and Pines roads could  potentially be eligible for. The amount funded is 60 percent, which would leave the City paying for $2.22 million for Barker and $6.38 million for the Pines underpass, if approved.

The aim of the grants is to reduce congestion and improve areas of expansion on the nation’s highways. The projects would also reduce the blowing of train horns and they would no longer be required.

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About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.