By Chuck Quirmbach
State and local government officials who want access to rail bridge inspection reports will soon be able to send digital requests to federal regulators.
Concerns about trains carrying crude oil and other hazardous material over aging bridges have prompted Congress to grant local and state leaders access to more information from railroad companies.
Sarah Feinberg, head of the Federal Railroad Administration, the FRA's website will be ready for inquiries later this week.
"Let's say you're a state senator or mayor and you want to know more details about a bridge in your community," Feinberg said. "Go to the website, put the specific information in about the bridge, request that information. We will then take that request, deliver it to the railroad, ask for a response about the bridge — when it was last inspected, what condition it's in — and share it back."
Feinberg promises a response within 45 days of a request being made.
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