FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Improvements will be made to the Brightline tracks in Broward County in an effort to prevent more tragedies from occurring.
The Federal Railroad Administration is awarding a $15.4 million grant to the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization for improvement projects that focus on safety.
“We are thrilled that we have the funding from the bipartisan infrastructure bill to invest in these new programs,” FRA Deputy Administrator Jennifer Mitchell said.
Mayors from all over Broward County attended Thursday’s announcement in Fort Lauderdale.
The Broward MPO reports that over the last five years, Broward County saw the highest number of incidents of any county caused by drivers trying to go around railroad entrance gates and getting hit by a train.
Most of those crashes have been fatal.
They say the installation of new exit gates and medians could be effective in preventing this.
“We’ll be improving 33 new intersections with new treatments,” Mitchell said. “It’s going to improve the gates. It’s going to make it much harder for people to get around those and also to improve education, as well. So we know that there will be seven medians that will be raised and those are the types of treatments that also deter people from trying to cross the tracks when there’s a train coming.”
The Broward MPO estimates that over the next 20 years, 45 incidents can be avoided, saving about a dozen lives -- the safety benefit of about $132 million.