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Resources that streamline permitting processes and support rapid decision making to reduce delays.

Railroad-DOT Mitigation Strategies (R16)


North American railroads and public highway departments interact thousands of times a year as highway projects occur in proximity to railways. Each interaction requires a thorough review of the safety, engineering, and operating effects the project will have on the respective railroad during construction and for decades thereafter. Rapid highway construction goals require a new approach that eases the project agreement process for both industries.


SHRP2 has developed a collection of recommended practices, model agreements, and training materials to help resolve potential conflicts. Resources that streamline permitting processes and support cooperative interaction between public highway departments and railroads can speed project delivery and reduce the costs associated with conflict-related delays. These online resources will provide transportation agencies and railroads with tools to negotiate a memorandum of understanding for conducting their coordination activities, develop draft model agreements and streamlined permitting procedures, or adopt a “continuous improvement” framework that allows performance tracking and collaboration for improvement. These resources, as well as practices drawn from partnering, good project management strategies, and process improvement efforts, will expedite the review process.


Railroad volumes are expected to continue to grow, increasing the importance of effective project coordination between public highway departments and railroads. Railroad-DOT Mitigation Strategies cements understanding of each agency’s needs and streamlines the coordination process, saving both time and money. Road users will also benefit from on-budget, rapid highway renewal.

Additional information is available on a recorded webinar, produced as part of Round 2 of the Implementation Assistance Program.

In the Field

State Project Description Activity Contact
Arkansas Implementation Assistance Program – The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department is working with Union Pacific Railroad to establish a new master agreement and necessary supplemental agreements Lead Adopter Tymli Frierson
Atkansas Highway and Transportation Department
California Implementation Assistance Program – California Department of Transportation seeks to improve coordination with railroads on flagging needed on annual paving/grading work User Incentive Teresa McNamara
California Department of Transportation
Colorado Implementation Assistance Program – Colorado Department of Transportation is finalizing template construction and maintenance agreements with both BNSF Railway Company and Union Pacific Railroad Lead Adopter Ron Dickey
Colorado Department of Transportation
Idaho Implementation Assistance Program – Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is facilitating interaction among rail agencies and ITD to create a streamlined institutional agreement User Incentive Monica Crider
Idaho Transportation Department
North Carolina Research Paul Worley
North Carolina DOT
Pennsylvania Implementation Assistance Program – Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is beginning implementation of mitigation strategies Lead Adopter Daniel D. Leonard
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
South Dakota Implementation Assistance Program – South Dakota Department of Transportation is beginning implementation of mitigation strategies Lead Adopter David Huft
South Dakota Department of Transportation
Texas Implementation Assistance Program – Texas Department of Transportation is implementing standardization for various master agreements with railroad companies User Incentive Darin Kosmak
Texas Department of Transportation
Washington Research Ahmer Nizam
Washington DOT

Field activities also performed in Alabama, Arizona, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Rhode Island during the research phase.

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