PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix is getting a $24 million federal grant to lower Union Pacific freight railroad tracks into a trench north of Sky Harbor International Airport.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said the 2.3-mile (3.7-kilometer)-long trench will eliminate five at-grade crossings and enable 24th Street, a busy north-south thoroughfare, to extend over the trench.

The department said the project will help economic competitiveness by reducing congestion and delays on 24th Street and by improving accesses to businesses along Air Lane, an east -west street just north of the airport.

The grant was announced Tuesday by Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

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