As U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg came to Grand Forks to announce $30 million in federal grant to the North Dakota Department of Transportation, House Minority Leader Zac Ista (D-Grand Forks) expressed enthusiasm, remarking, “Anyone who lives, works, or studies in Grand Forks knows all too well the frustration of waiting for a train at the intersection of 42nd Street and DeMers Avenue. Beyond being an inconvenience to families, delays there can have serious consequences in emergency situations when police, fire, and paramedics are forced to take longer routes to respond. That is why I am thrilled to welcome Secretary Pete Buttigieg to Grand Forks today to announce the multi-million dollar investment that the Biden Administration is making in local rail safety and infrastructure. This project is just one example of the many ways President Biden’s policies are making a positive impact here in North Dakota.”
The Grand Forks project includes $7,500,000 in Federal Highway Administration funds. It is expected to reduce vehicle delays, and will improve access to Altru Hospital and University of North Dakota campus. The North Dakota Department of Transportation, BNSF, and the City of Grand Forks will contribute non-Federal funds to supplement the project.
The Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant Program is a part of President Biden’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. In 2019, Representative Gretchen Dobervich (D-Fargo) passed a bill to look at how the state could improve safety measures at North Dakota railroad crossings.