Section 4: Crossing Closure Projects
When TxDOT, the local government, and the railroad company collectively agree to consolidate and close crossings, TxDOT makes funding available to local governments to make the following related improvements:
- Remove the existing pavement at the crossing
- Construct a satisfactory terminus of the roadway at the removed crossing
- Install proper signs acknowledging the closing of the crossing
- Upgrade the existing railroad signals
- Improve existing streets in the vicinity of the closed crossing to handle the diverted traffic.
No funding is provided to the railroad company, as the crossing closure is considered a benefit to them. A signed agreement between TxDOT, the railroad company, and the local agency will be executed before the work is authorized.
A crossing closure project which is subsequently denied by a local government may then follow a new path to include various safety upgrades. TRF-RSS reserves the right to cancel a closure project after a predetermined time frame, typically one year from the date of the closure Proposal Letter (defined below).
Two Programs Available
TxDOT administers two programs for funding the closures of redundant, non-essential at-grade crossings in Texas:
- Basic Closure Program.
Federal Signal Program
Under the FSP, funding in an amount of up to $150,000 can be offered to the local government to close the crossing and improve safety in the vicinity of the closed crossing by making operational roadway improvements. The railroad company may cost participate to cover any additional costs. This program is offered for crossings on the FSP Preliminary Project List.
Basic Closure Program
The Basic Closure Program offers limited funds (up to $7,500 from TxDOT with at least matching funds from the railroad company) to the local government. The railroad company may add incentive dollars, which can be used at the local government’s discretion. The local government must use the funds from TxDOT only for roadway, safety, and operational improvements associated with the crossing closure within the vicinity of the closed crossing, as approved in advance by TxDOT. This program is offered for crossings not on the FSP Preliminary Project List.
Contracting (FSP or Basic Closure Program)
The work activities associated with the closure of the crossing may be performed under the following conditions:
- Using local government forces
- Using forces from other governmental entities
- Using private contractors.
In the event the local government determines that the work will be performed using private contractors, the local government must solicit for a minimum of three bids and have one person working directly on the project complete the Local Government Project Procedures for the Texas Department of Transportation training course. If three bids cannot be obtained, the local government should notify TxDOT to explain the circumstances surrounding the bid solicitation. The local government must award the work to the lowest responsive qualified bidder.
The following steps must take place for a crossing closure project to proceed:
- Once the proposal is developed, a Proposal Letter is sent to the local government from TRF-RSS or the railroad company to clarify the intention of removing the crossing and anticipated adjacent roadway improvements associated with the project.
- TRF-RSS, the District, and the railroad company should attend and participate in all public meetings.
- The local government submits a signed ordinance/resolution to TRF-RSS stating the crossings to be closed. (Note: This can be attached by the local government when they execute the Crossing Closure Agreement.).