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Section 3: Project Selection

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Program Call and Project Submission

Each year TRF-RSS issues a program call for candidate crossings by providing the Railroad Grade Crossing Replanking Project Submission Form (TxDOT Form 1876) to each district. Prior to completing the form, the District Railroad Coordinator should visit crossings on the state highway system to determine the need for crossings requiring new planking. The District Railroad Coordinator should then complete the form by:

  • performing a site inspection to verify condition of the crossing and taking a photo of the crossing rather than attaching an outdated image
  • completing basic crossing info
  • verifying AADT in TRIMS or performing a field count
  • rating the condition of the crossing and describing the condition of the crossing
  • contacting the Transportation Planning and Programming Division (TPP) if the AADT shown in TRIMS does not match existing counts.

The District completes one form for each crossing submitted and ranks each crossing according to district priority. TRF-RSS strives (within funding limitations) to include each district’s top priority ranked submission in the current year’s program.

The District should also note if a full closure would be allowed or if cost estimates for partial closures should be prepared by the railroad company. The District will have the final authority in approving a full closure. See Section 4 of this chapter for more details.

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Project Ranking

TRF-RSS establishes each program year’s crossings by:

  1. calculating the cost of replanking the highest ranked crossing in each District for all 25 Districts
  2. calculating a cost per vehicle to replank all other crossings submitted and prioritizing these crossings across the state by lowest cost per vehicle (highest priority)
  3. determining which crossings from Step 2 can be funded from available program funds for the program year.

The cost-per-vehicle metric is used to ensure that the best program value is obtained considering the volume of traffic using the crossing. In other words, a crossing with greater traffic volumes will have higher priority than another crossing with lower volumes with the same estimated cost of replanking.

After the finalized list of crossings for replanking is established, TRF-RSS furnishes a list to each district and railroad company. This list is typically referred to as the Exhibit L.

Each Form 1876 for projects selected for the program is uploaded into the TRIMS Project Management Module by TRF-RSS.

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Corridor Improvements

Although the Replanking Program has limited funding each year, corridor improvements to upgrade a series of at-grade crossings along the same track may be eligible for funding under the Replanking Program if:

  • deemed high priority to TxDOT
  • the railroad company chooses to cost participate
  • significant savings could result by upgrading all crossings at the same time.

TRF-RSS will evaluate any proposed corridor improvements with the District and the railroad company to determine eligibility.

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Calculating Cost Per Vehicle

The total estimated cost of replanking a single crossing is obtained by multiplying the estimated cost of replanking per track-foot by the width of the crossing. For the purposes of this calculation, “the width of the crossing” is the length of the track traversing the roadway plus three (3) feet beyond the edge of the pavement or sidewalk on both sides of the roadway (a total of an additional six [6] feet). The total cost includes the cost of replanking multiple tracks at the same crossing if multiple tracks are to be replanked.

The estimated cost per vehicle is the total estimated cost of the project divided by the AADT at the crossing. AADT is determined by an actual count if available or an estimated count provided by the Transportation Planning and Programming Division (TPP). AADT is not determined based on a future projected count.

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TRF-RSS will request a planning CSJ from each district for each crossing to be replanked under the Replanking Program. After all planning CSJs are received, TRF-RSS will compile estimated costs of each crossing and request that construction CSJs are set up by the Finance Division Letting Management Section. Construction CSJs are provided to the District Railroad Coordinator to be shown in the Exhibit A plan set.

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Replanking projects may be canceled for the following reasons:

  • The railroad company abandons the tracks.
  • The railroad company plans to resurface crossing on their own.
  • A TxDOT construction project may be used to replank the crossing.
  • Cost estimates are too high.
  • Temporary roadway closures are not feasible.

TRF-RSS will reallocate the funds on a case-by-case basis. The funds may be used to:

  • Resurface another crossing in the same district.
  • Supplement cost overruns on other crossing projects.
  • Benefit the Replanking Program in another way.
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