WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Senator Bob Casey, Senator John Fetterman, and Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06) announced a $16 million grant for the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Berks to improve the Colebrookdale Railroad, which operates in Pottstown and Boyertown. This grant, which will reduce train-vehicle collisions and blocked rail crossings, is funded by the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s new Railroad Crossing Elimination (RCE) Grant Program.
“Improving the safety and functionality of our railroads is crucial to the sustainability and growth of our communities,” Congresswoman Dean said. “This $16 million investment in Colebrookdale Railroad — provided by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act — will help make rail crossings safer while lifting up redevelopment in Boyertown and Pottstown. And as Colebrookdale Railroad continues to grow as an economic and tourist engine for the region, these investments will shine a much-needed light on our area.”
"We are grateful to our federal, state, and local elected officials for their leadership in bringing these needed infrastructure funds to our region. Investing in the bridges and crossings of the Colebrookdale Railroad, this grant preserves a lifeline for businesses whose work is foundational to our economy," Nathaniel Guest, Executive Director of the Colebrookdale Railroad said.
“From the very beginning, the Colebrookdale Railroad has proven to be a great example of the public-private partnership concept. This partnership involves our federal, state, and local elected officials to whom we wish to thank for their continued leadership and support,” Kenneth Pick, Executive Director of the Berks County Redevelopment Authority said.
This funding will support development, right-of-way acquisition, and construction for improvements at 10 crossings of the Colebrookdale Railroad. Planned improvements include eliminating one crossing, improving several other unprotected crossings, and eliminating severe clearance and sight-line issues by raising bridges at another three crossings. The Redevelopment Authority of the County of Berks, which owns the rail right-of-way, will contribute a 20 percent non-Federal match.
The Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant Program funding complements the 2021 Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program funding granted to Colebrookdale, which enabled the railroad to meet increased freight demand.
“Because of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Berks County can invest in making its rail crossings safer and more efficient,” Senator Casey said. “This is yet another example of the infrastructure law improving passenger and freight rail throughout Pennsylvania and across our Nation.”
“It’s an honor to join with Representative Dean and Senator Casey to announce this funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to make rail crossings in Berks County safer. Keeping pedestrians safe is a top priority for me, and this funding will help us get there at these sites across the region” Senator Fetterman said.
“We are lucky to have strong rail infrastructure in Berks County, but our rail lines are over 150 years old and need some improvements to continue to safely transport passengers and cargo. Rep. Madeleine Dean and I have both been advocating for federal help. I’m thrilled that over $16 million in funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is being awarded to the Berks Redevelopment Authority to make improvements at 10 crossings along Berks rail lines. It is my hope that this federal funding will help keep our rail infrastructure effective and resilient for many decades to come,” Congresswoman Houlahan said.
The grant received by the Colebrookdale Railroad was given during the first round of available funding. Over each of the next four years, additional Railroad Crossing Elimination Program funding will be made available annually for any interested community to apply.
Learn more about the infrastructure investments in Pennsylvania here.
Rep. Madeleine Dean is a mother, grandmother, attorney, professor, former four-term member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and U.S. Representative for the Fourth District of Pennsylvania.