Brightline Celebrates Federal RAISE Grant Award with Bipartisan Congressional Delegation
Aug 15, 2022
The investment will support safety enhancements from Miami-Dade to Brevard Counties
MIAMI – Today, Brightline and a bipartisan coalition of congressional officials announced a grant award of $25 million from the United States Department of Transportation’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), in partnership with Brightline, was awarded the grant to enhance safety along the Florida East Coast Railway/Brightline corridor between Miami-Dade and Brevard counties. The award, combined with up to $20 million in matching funds from FDOT and Brightline, will result in a $45 million investment.
The grant application was supported by Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott and Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Mario Diaz-Balart, Frederica Wilson, Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel and Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick. The grant application received substantial community support from local municipalities, all metropolitan planning organizations, and the Florida East Coast Railway, which operates freight trains along the corridor.
The project will construct at least 33 miles of pedestrian protection features and supplemental safety measures at 328 grade crossings. The scope of work will include rail dynamic envelopes, delineators, raised pavement markers, edge striping, fencing and additional safety signage in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Brevard Counties.
Brightline, the nation’s only provider of modern, eco-friendly intercity passenger rail service, is currently operating between Miami and West Palm Beach and constructing an extension from West Palm Beach to Orlando, which is expected to launch service in 2023. Two new stations, in Boca Raton and Aventura, will open before the end of 2022.
“We’re relentless about safety and are constantly seeking new ways to mitigate the behaviors we are seeing along the corridor,” said Patrick Goddard, president of Brightline. “The engineering solutions made possible by the RAISE grant combined with our ongoing education campaign will go a long way in promoting safety. This was a state-wide push and we appreciate the Federal Railroad Administration, FDOT, elected officials and local stakeholders who amplified this effort.”
“Brightline is a critical part of Florida’s transportation network and has significantly improved the lives of many Floridians through an easy and efficient method of travel through South Florida,” said Rep. Diaz-Balart. “I am therefore thrilled that Brightline was chosen to receive nearly $25 million to fund safety improvements along its railway corridor as it continues to grow in our state. As former Chairman and now Ranking Member of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations subcommittee in Congress, I have secured federal dollars for the RAISE program year after year and remain a steadfast supporter of infrastructure and transit development in our community. I am excited to see these funds being used to address safety challenges and for support of the continued growth and expansion of Brightline.”
“President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to put thousands of Floridians to work and pour billions of dollars into modernizing Florida’s ailing infrastructure, and most important, to make our communities safe,” said Rep. Wasserman Schultz. “That’s why I worked so hard in Congress to get it to the President’s desk, and that’s why I proudly supported this $25 million RAISE grant application from the Florida Department of Transportation: to improve safety measures at rail crossings across South Florida, and to make our community a top-tier transportation showcase.”
“Brightline has proven a critical resource for people in our community, whether they are traveling through or coming home,” said Rep. Deutch. “I am excited to see this important piece of South Florida’s transportation infrastructure receive such a major grant. These millions of dollars in funding will help ensure Brightline remains safe, efficient, and fully operational for years to come, helping us bring Floridians and visitors alike to our region.”
“I am pleased to announce that I helped secure $25 million from the United States Department of Transportation, which will significantly benefit Broward County and Palm Beach,” said Rep. Cherfilus-McCormick. “This critical funding from the Infrastructure Law undoubtedly supports the state’s economy, improves mobility of people and goods, and creates environmental resiliency. Such enhancements will provide a safer environment for more than 7.2 million Floridians across our state and millions of visitors.”