Peterson leads letter urging the US Department of Transportation to support the Moorhead Grade Separation, Safety and Mobility Project

May 17, 2018 Issues: Transportation

WASHINGTON – Congressman Collin C. Peterson, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, and Representatives Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison sent a letter to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao in support of the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) application to fund the Moorhead Grade Separation, Safety, and Mobility Project through the FY18 Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant program.

The INFRA grant program, a rebranding of the DoT FASTLANE program, is intended to update and maintain transportation standards across the nation.

“By redesigning two downtown rail grade crossings, the Moorhead Grade Separation, Safety, and Mobility Project will help improve vehicle and pedestrian safety and reduce congestion,” said Congressman Peterson. “Additionally, it will help drive economic development in the region.”

INFRA award decisions will be announced around June.

Read the full letter below:

May 8, 2018

The Honorable Elaine Chao
Secretary of Transportation
US Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20590

Dear Secretary Chao:

The undersigned members of the Minnesota Congressional Delegation support the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s submission of the Moorhead Grade Separation, Safety and Mobility Project for the FY 2018 Infrastructure for Rebuilding America Grant Program. This project is a very high priority for the State of Minnesota, addressing significant mobility and safety issues in a bi-state area and the federal funding we seek through this application is urgently needed to complete the work and reconnect this community. 

The grade separations project will improve connectivity between the National Highway System and the Primary Highway Freight System network, which will allow high volumes of automobile traffic, bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit vehicles to safely move through a crowded area.

Five active rail lines bisect the City of Moorhead, including the BNSF Railway mainline. The bi-state metropolitan area of Fargo-Moorhead recognizes these railroad crossings as the area’s most significant conflict points for rail and road traffic, causing undue traffic delays and safety risks.

The grade separation and junction improvements resolve a bottleneck and inefficient operations on the BNSF two Railroad lines, including the route of Amtrak’s Empire Builder and access for the Ottertail Valley Railroad, an important Minnesota short line working as a major energy and farm products carrier in western Minnesota. The two BNSF lines are significant regional and transcontinental routes, carrying over 100 total train movements, including critical intermodal, coal and crude oil unit trains.

Funding this project will substantially improve safety as well as drive economic development in two upper Midwest states. The INFRA grant award is crucial to Minnesota. We appreciate your consideration of this project and urge you to select it for funding. 

Sincerely,