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Governor proposes improvements to railroad crossings following year of deadly crashes

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)

During his State of the State address on Wednesday, Gov. Mike Parson asked for a new line item in the fiscal year 2024 budget to increase safety measures at railroad crossings.

Parson is proposing $35 million from Missouri's budget be put towards making train crossings safer. This comes after an unusually deadly year for train crossings in the state. More than 10 people died from train-car crashes, according to the Federal Rail Administration.

Out of 26 train crashes in Missouri in 2022, 19 were at passive crossings and seven at active crossings, according to data from the Missouri Department of Transportation and FRA in early December.

After the train derailment in Chariton County in June, MoDOT asked the state for $50 million to add more safety features along Missouri's railroad tracks. Parson's proposal is $15 million less than MoDOT requested.

"While the power of our people and the goodness of their character made a bad situation a little better this time, the state must be proactive and help prevent a similar situation again," Parson said. "That is why we are including $35 million to begin updating railway crossings to modern-day safety standards all across our state."

The governor's legislative team said the budget item is not specifically targeting the Mendon crossing or any crossing. The governor wants to get feedback from local leaders before making a plan.

Article Topic Follows: Missouri Politics
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Hannah Falcon

Hannah joined the ABC 17 News Team from Houston, Texas, in June 2021. She graduated from Texas A&M University. She was editor of her school newspaper and interned with KPRC in Houston. Hannah also spent a semester in Washington, D.C., and loves political reporting.

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