Phoenix gets more than $7 million in federal funding to upgrade two troubled railroad crossings

Posted at 7:12 PM, Jun 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-06 14:57:34-04

PHOENIX — The city of Phoenix landed $7,084,656 in federal funding to upgrade two troubled railroad crossings.

The announcement came down Thursday as part of the Urban Safety Rail Crossing Project.

The two crossings are located at 19th Avenue and McDowell Road, and 43rd Avenue and Camelback Road. According to the city of Phoenix, these are heavy traffic areas with more than 30 collisions combined since 2008.

In fact, there was a train derailment at the 19th Ave and McDowell Rd crossing Friday afternoon.

Drivers like Oscar Salgado say the crossing at 43rd Ave and Camelback Rd can be confusing and he's seen the worst.

"I've seen people... People have been run over on these tracks, so yeah, they should do something about it," Salgado said.

The upgrade project will install new gate arms at both locations, add more signals and widen both the roadway, and sidewalk to meet disability standards.

"That's a good idea," said Dorothy Paxton who makes her way over the tracks in a motorized wheelchair. "The sidewalks and stuff coming up to the tracks are very uneven and they're a little hard to get across."

She says it can get crowded as currently constructed especially if there are lots of people crossing at once.

"Two scooters does make it tight," she said.

The city of Phoenix will match 30% of the $7 million the feds are putting up. There is no timetable yet for construction.

Bicyclists like Michael Buie are looking forward to the improvements.

"Better is always better," Buie said.