Tower 55 construction to begin in earnest
Posted March 25, 2013
Train traffic often slows to a stop at Tower 55 as up to 100 trains pass the intersection each day. Improving the intersection will improve air quality and overall mobility in North Texas.
Improvements to Tower 55, the busiest at-grade railroad intersection in the country, will begin in the coming weeks as officials with BNSF Railway Co., Union Pacific, North Central Texas Council of Governments, the City of Fort Worth and the Texas Department of Transportation work to alleviate rail congestion near downtown Fort Worth.
Last year, federal officials committed $34 million to the $101 million project. BNSF and Union Pacific committed more than $65 million to the effort and TxDOT and the City of Fort Worth each committed $1 million. The U.S. Department of Transportation invested in the project through its Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program.
Due to the heavy traffic, many trains must come to a complete stop before proceeding. The average wait time can range from minutes to several hours.
Once complete, the Tower 55 Multi-Modal Project will relieve freight rail congestion south of the juncture of I-35W and I-30, where five major freight and passenger rail routes converge and up to 100 trains pass every day. It will also increase rail capacity, making it more efficient for freight shippers and improving passenger rail reliability and performance.
The project is expected to create jobs and promote economic development in North Texas and improve safety with reduced delays for motorists and pedestrians at street-rail crossings and bridges.
The project is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2014.