The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recently added a new feature to its website that lets municipalities and states request inspection reports on local rail bridges.
This new tool is a provision of the recently enacted Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.
“The Federal Railroad Administration has repeatedly urged railroads to be more responsive and more transparent with state and local leaders concerned about the condition of their local railroad bridges," FRA Administrator Sarah Feinberg said. "State and local officials will now be able to get more information from railroads on the infrastructure in their communities. Providing inspection reports to local leaders is a great first step, but more can — and must — be done. We hope Congress will provide the resources to double our bridge-safety staff and create a national database.”
In addition, the FRA said it is seeking further resources from President Obama's fiscal 2017 budget to double the agency's bridge-specialist staff and create a national online bridge-inventory database.
“Communities across the country will now have access to information on the condition of railroad bridges in their area,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. “These inspection reports will provide greater transparency between railroads and local leaders, which is an important cornerstone in our comprehensive safety efforts.”