FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Brightline joined South Florida leaders in Fort Lauderdale as the high-speed railway announced it was awarded a $25 million safety grant.
“This grant fund came from the Bi-Partisan Infrastructure law. It is a trillion-dollar investment into our nation’s transit. We want Brightline to be in the news for all the right reasons,” said U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.
The funds will be used to help prevent driver and pedestrian deaths involving Brightline trains across the state of Florida.
“This RAISE grant will indeed save lives,” said Daniella Levine Cava, Mayor, Miami-Dade.
The Florida Department of Transportation and Brightline each contributed $10 million. Along with private funds, the total for the grant came to $45 million to be used for work across seven counties, along 33 miles of railway and at more than 300 crossings. Some of the safety features will include raised pavement markings, landscaping, fencing and more signage.
“Extensive crossing work to make sure all 333 crossings on the operating corridor will have edge delineators and rain dynamic envelopes .This will target some of our most common vehicle incidents. We are installing around 170 suicide crisis hotline signs to better reach those struggling with suicide,” said Patrick Goddard, President of Brightline.
While officials have said trying to stop someone determined to taking their own life can be a challenge and for others disregarding downed crossing arms or trying to beat the train, they said, it’s not worth your life.
“When you see these train gates come down, you’re not going to beat a train. Do not try. Don’t do it. Be safe,” said Michael Udine, Broward County Mayor.
Brightline said all of the improvements are going to be implemented in 2023. The high-speed railway expects the enhancements will also help with the 170-mile expansion to Orlando expected to open early next year.