COLUMBUS, OHIO (Dec. 16, 2015) – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today approved construction authorization from the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) in consolidation with Metro Regional Transit Authority (MRTA) and the city of Canton, directing the installation of mast-mounted flashing lights and roadway gates at the following crossings in the city of Canton, Stark County:
The PUCO also approved construction authorization to permanently close the rail crossings at Seccombe Place SW and Second Street SW.
The cost of the projects will be shared between the PUCO, ORDC, MRTA and the city of Canton.
The grade crossing improvement projects are to be completed by Dec. 16, 2016. The PUCO continues this cooperative process to enhance and promote public safety at rail crossings throughout the state.
To increase public safety during the construction of the projects, local governments may seek funding from the PUCO for the cost of safety improvements such as rumble strips, illumination, improved signage or other enhancements at the project location. Funding for such improvements comes from the State Grade Crossing Safety Fund and may not exceed $5,000 per project.
The PUCO is responsible for evaluating Ohio’s public grade crossings to determine the need for installing active warning devices. Since the PUCO began implementing these evaluations, the annual number of train-motor vehicle crashes in Ohio has decreased significantly, from 123 in 2001 to 76 in 2014.
The Ohio Rail Hotline, at (866) 814-RAIL (7245), provides Ohioans with a toll-free resource for all railroad crossing questions. For more information regarding these crossings, access the Ohio railroad information system website at http://gradecrossings.puco.ohio.gov/.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) is the sole agency charged with regulating public utility service. The role of the PUCO is to assure all residential, business and industrial consumers have access to adequate, safe and reliable utility services at fair prices while facilitating an environment that provides competitive choices. Consumers with utility-related questions or concerns can call the PUCO Call Center at (800) 686-PUCO (7826) and speak with a representative.
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