EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - The Indiana Department of Transportation awarded Vanderburgh County with $6.2-million of grant funding for rail crossing improvements.
County commissioners tell us the funding will be used at the Mill Road crossing near Kratzville Road.
The Mill Road crossing has both car and train traffic everyday. County Engineer John Stoll told us that causes all kinds of problems.
“It causes traffic to back on Mill, all the way back to Kratzville, causes congestion problems back in that intersection, and on the west side it is not so much of a congestion problem but it is accessibility,” said Stoll.
One solution is an overpass or bridge over the tracks. Now with $6.2-million in grant funding for what is likely to be a $7-million project, Stoll believes they can finally make it happen.
“We had no ability, at the local level, to come up with that kind of money so it is great that the state is providing it because it is very unlikely that this project will be a reality without that money,” said Stoll.
This is the first time that INDOT has made funding available for rail crossing improvements. Vanderburgh County Commissioner Cheryl Musgrave told us they jumped at the opportunity.
“We were hopeful but we were absolutely thrilled. So there is nothing new about the need for this. What is new is that the state, through the governor and legislature, made $121-million available,” said Musgrave.
Vanderburgh County was the only county in south west Indiana to apply. Musgrave believes that helped the county to be selected.
“We were very hopeful that they would try to distribute money geographically and so we thought we were in a pretty good position and it turns out, we were," said Musgrave.
The city of Evansville will match 20% of that grant funding, and the project is estimated to cost over $7-million.