Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Rep. Sewell announces $14 million in grants for York, Fairfield

The grants will be used to reduce blocked railroad crossings, enhance transportation network, and more.

an image of a rail crossing and train
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Monday, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, AL-07, announced $14,749,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to reduce blocked railroad crossings, enhance transportation networks, and create more walkable, bikeable, safe, connected, and livable communities in Alabama’s 7th Congressional District. Funding comes from USDOT’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program. The City of York was awarded $3 million to alleviate dangerous blocked railroad crossings and the City of Fairfield was awarded $11.7 million to construct 3.8 miles of bicycle facilities.

“Today marks a major step forward in our fight to eliminate blocked railroad crossing and provide safer and more accessible transportation systems in Alabama’s 7th Congressional District!” celebrated Rep. Sewell. “I was so proud to help the City of York and the City of Fairfield secure this $14 million to make our communities more walkable, bikeable, and livable. I applaud the Biden-Harris Administration, Secretary Buttigieg, and Federal Railroad Administrator Bose for making these transformational investments as we bring more resources and better opportunities to our communities here in Alabama’s 7th Congressional District.”

In York, the $3 million RAISE grant will be used to plan and design improvements between railroad-highway grade crossings and community impacts such as stopped and idling freight and passenger trains along Norfolk Southern Railways (NSR) AGS South District which also supports Amtrak’s Crescent service. The plan will provide recommended improvements to the multimodal freight corridor, including those that seek to reduce conflicts with residential areas, as well as with passing and non-motorized traffic.

“It is a great day!” said York Mayor Willie Lake. “Train blockages have been hindering York for the last 25 years and this is a step in the right direction to help alleviate the stress that the trains have been causing. We’re looking forward to working with Norfolk Southern, FRA, USDOT, Alabama Transportation Institute, and all the partners involved as we move forward. It is a great day.”

“We want to thank Congresswoman Sewell and her office for all that she did to highlight this issue including bringing Secretary Buttigieg to Alabama to see the blockages for himself,” continued Lake. “We are eternally grateful for all of the support she has provided to the City. It has been a long struggle.”

In Fairfield, the $11.7 million RAISE Grant will go toward constructing approximately 3.8 miles of bicycle facilities along Dr. MLK Boulevard, Vinesville Road, and 52nd Street Ensley in Fairfield and Birmingham. The project will also construct three mobility hubs near the bicycle facilities.

“This RAISE Grant is going to be transformational for the City of Fairfield. It will not only give our citizens a safe place to exercise but will also help with economic development along the walking trail and better connect students from Miles College to the rest of the community,” said Fairfield Mayor Eddie Penny. “I want to thank Congresswoman Sewell and the Freshwater Land Trust for helping the city get this grant which will be very beneficial for the citizens of Fairfield.” 

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Background on the RAISE Grant Program

The RAISE Grant program provides a unique opportunity for the DOT to invest in road, rail, transit and port projects that promise to achieve national objectives. Previously known as the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) and Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grants, Congress has dedicated nearly $12.1 billion for fourteen rounds of National Infrastructure Investments to fund projects that have a significant local or regional impact.

In each competition, DOT receives hundreds of applications to build and repair critical pieces of our freight and passenger transportation networks. The RAISE program enables DOT to examine these projects on their merits to help ensure that taxpayers are getting the highest value for every dollar invested.

For more information on the Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity or RAISE Program Announcement, click here.

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

More from APR


This grant, part of the Bridge Investment Program, is the largest federal grant in Alabama's history.


Sewell will also announce $637,195 in federal funding that she secured for a new 911 facility.


The Alabama sites designated for potential nomination include the 16th Street Baptist Church and the Edmund Pettus Bridge.


The major grant award is believed to be one of the largest federal grants ever received for an Alabama project.