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Brightline: Safety Enhancements Completed at 48 Grade Crossings in South Florida

Go Bright Line train ready to leave Seimens Mobility Elk Grove CA USA
Marguerite Courtney/© 2016 Marguerite Courtney

Florida - Wednesday March 8, 2023: Brightline has announced the completion of $5.4 million in safety enhancement projects at 48 crossings in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

The work is part of the ongoing effort to work with local communities to enhance safety along the Florida East Coast Railway/Brightline corridor. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) awarded a $2.3 million Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement (CRISI) grant in 2017, and Brightline partnered with 11 local cities and the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency (TPA) to fund these improvements.

This $5.4 million total investment resulted in the addition of enhancements to 48 crossings throughout the Phase 1 segment in the tri-county region. The scope of work is different for each crossing and includes one or a combination of the following: exit gates, flexible edge-of-roadway delineators and striping, center-line delineators, active message signs or raised medians. The 11 cities and the Palm Beach TPA contributed more than $1.5 million in the project, and Brightline invested more than $1.4 million in the project.

“Brightline continues to make significant investments in safety by taking every opportunity to work with our local and federal partners to deter pedestrian and vehicle incidents,” said Ben Porritt, SVP of Corporate Affairs. “This coalition shows the importance of safety as a shared responsibility and we really appreciate the investment made by the FRA, these cities and the Palm Beach TPA .”

Each crossing along the Florida East Coast Railway/Brightline corridor has different engineering requirements due to roadway width, crossing profile, existence of sidewalks and other variables. In partnership with local governments, the Brightline team and the FRA reviewed high trafficked crossings to determine what additional safety enhancements could be constructed. Crossing locations were selected based on historical data and existing infrastructure.

The scope of work included:

  • Center line delineators: Eight crossings
  • Non-traversable raised medians: Three crossings
  • Exit gate improvements: Six crossings
  • Lane edge markings/striping with flexible delineators: 48 crossings
  • Active message signs with digital messaging: train approaching and suicide prevention messaging posted in partnership with 211 at 9 crossings; signs are translated in English, Spanish and Creole

“The Palm Beach TPA is excited this project is coming to fruition and grateful for the collaboration with Brightline and local municipalities to advance a safe, efficient, and multimodal transportation system,” said Valerie Neilson, Executive Director of the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency.
The Palm Beach TPA and the 11 cities that contributed to the grant include:

  • West Palm Beach
  • Lake Worth Beach
  • Lantana
  • Boynton Beach
  • Delray Beach
  • Boca Raton
  • Pompano Beach
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Dania Beach
  • Hollywood
  • Hallandale Beach

Prior to the implementation of the grant, all crossings along the corridor were already equipped with a combination of active warning devices, including grade crossing arms, flashing lights, bells, and gates. In addition to the CRISI scope of work, Brightline installed centerline delineators at 29 crossings in Broward County to deter motorists from driving around the gates, marking an additional $500,000 worth of investment. This project was completed in January 2023. Brightline has also installed channelization through community greening projects and fencing in southern Palm Beach County.
Brightline recently released a newsafety website and Public Service Announcement. As part of the campaign and PSA, Brightline is calling on community members to take action by signing the digital safety pledge with an initial goal of 50,000 signatures.