Iowa DOT News Release

Safety improvements at highway-railroad grade crossings

Posted on: November 14, 2012

AMES, Iowa – Nov. 14, 2012 – Safety improvements at highway-railroad grade crossings were approved by the Iowa Transportation Commission yesterday. The improvements include the addition of lights with gate arms at 24 crossings and circuitry upgrades at two crossings. Funds were also approved to assist in crossing closures. Engineering and planning for these improvements will take place over the next year with installation planned in 2014. A list of the safety improvements may be found at

The Highway-Railroad Crossing Safety Program provides 90 percent of the cost of the safety improvement, with the remaining 10 percent paid by the highway jurisdiction (normally a city or county), the railroad or a portion paid by each. Funding for the program comes from the Federal Highway-Railroad Crossing Program.   

Projects are prioritized using a benefit/cost analysis. The analysis considers vehicle traffic, number and speed of trains, and crossing characteristics, as well as cost and anticipated effectiveness of the proposed improvement. The available funding only allows a limited number of safety improvements each year. 

"Applications for safety improvements at crossings with a high probability for a serious crash and that propose an effective, cost-efficient improvement get the highest priority,” said Jim Gibson program manager in the Iowa DOT’s Office of Rail Transportation. 

Applications for the program are available at the Office of Rail Transportation's website at


For more information, contact: Tammy Nicholson at 515-239-1052 or



Iowa highway in the evening