U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announced that twelve cities and states will share $16.9 million to relocate, replace, and improve segments of railroad track under the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)’s Rail Line Relocation and Improvement competitive grant program.

The FRA received more than $67 million in state and local government requests for these funds, which will be used to enhance safety, livability, and economic development in American communities.

“The overwhelming number of applications we received for this program shows that state and local officials recognize the economic boost that comes with improving transportation infrastructure,” said Secretary LaHood.

“These investments will help advance President Obama’s vision of an ‘America Built to Last’ by putting people back to work on transportation projects while creating livable communities and stimulating economic growth.”

FRA’s rail line relocation competitive grant program funds projects that reduce the adverse effects of rail infrastructure on safety, motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic, community quality of life, or economic development.

Funding for these grants is made available through annual appropriations and requires a 10 percent contribution from the project sponsor.