The city of Davenport has received over $2.5 million in federal grants, to be used to improve passenger and freight transportation safety, efficiency and reliability. The city said in a press release the project will install lights, gates, medians, signage and fencing.
This is not the first time Davenport was given money to upgrade their train system. The original funding came from the Canadian Pacific rail company. Canadian Pacific gave the city $10 million last year in regard to the higher traffic rate with their trains going through the Downtown Davenport area, and also to upgrade safety with the rail system.
Local 4 took a look back into the letters that the City of Davenport has sent. On December 14, 2021, Davenport city council and Mayor Mike Matson sent a letter to the Surface Transportation Board, saying they need to implement safety features, including quiet zones with the money that would be given to them from Canadian Pacific. The letter stated, “at this time, quiet zones do not exist within the city even though there are 10 at-grade public crossings and 3 private ones.” The letter also said “Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern be required to cover all of the cost associated with necessary improvements to mitigate the impacts of this increased rail traffic.” The letter from the city of Davenport can be found here
Local 4 spoke to Clay Merritt, the Assistant Director of Public Works in Davenport, about the money received last year, and the grants received this week. He said the city applied for the federal grants to spend saved up city money on other projects in Davenport. “Federal grants are often very difficult because you’re competing against everyone in the country,” Clay Merritt said. “So, you take that opportunity because best case scenario happens when we’re able to take out some city funds and then we can do more stuff, rather than the city always having to bear the brunt. Let’s say it’s ten million dollars. Would you rather have the city pay the ten million dollars, or would you have the feds pay eight million dollars and the city pay two million?”
The city says the project would end up at an estimated total of $3.4 million.