For Immediate Release
Contact: Matt Schilling
(614) 466 7750
PUCO approves updates to 11 rail crossings
COLUMBUS, OHIO (July 9, 2014) – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today approved 11 highway-rail grade crossing projects in Hamilton, Hancock, Sandusky, Portage, Erie, Butler and Paulding counties. The updates have been approved as follows:
Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NS) will install mast-mounted flashing lights and roadway gates at the following grade crossings.
Main Street (524-713G), Sharonville, Hamilton County
Dunn Street (524-723M), Lockland, Hamilton County
E. Kemper Road (524-712A), Sharonville, Hamilton County
Wyoming Avenue (524-722F), Lockland, Hamilton County
Olds Street (481-670T), Sandusky, Erie County
Zienta-Horn Road/Township Road 109 (473-730E) Rice Township, Sandusky County
CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSX) will install mast-mounted flashing lights and roadway gates at the following grade crossings.
Yates Road/Township Road 168 (513-728R), Jackson Township, Hancock County
Morganthaler Road/County Road 157 (152-415C), Trenton, Butler County
Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway will install mast-mounted flashing lights and roadway gates at the following grade crossings.
Tallmadge Road/County Road 18 (472-659U), Brimfield Township, Portage County
Sunnybrook Road/County Road 11 (472-655S), Brimfield Township, Portage County
All listed upgrades must be completed by April 9, 2015 except the upgrade at Morganthaler Road (152-415C) that must be completed by January 9, 2016. All projects will be paid for with federal funds.
The PUCO approved a petition filed by Norfolk Southern Railway to close the Stores Road/Township Road 159 grade crossing (472-543T) located in Brown Township, Paulding County. The PUCO approved the closing of the grade crossing based on the evidence that there was no demonstrable need for the crossing to exist. Brown Township is to discontinue the use of the crossing within 30 days. A local public hearing was held January 17, 2013 and four witnesses provided sworn testimony. On March 6, 2014, an evidentiary hearing was held at the request of the involved parties to determine the need for the grade crossing.
To increase public safety during the construction of the projects, the PUCO may assist the local governments with the cost of improvements such as rumble strips, illumination, improved signage or other safety enhancements at the project locations. Funding for the improvements will come from the State Grade Crossing Safety Fund and will not exceed $5,000.
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 63 in 2013.
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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