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For Immediate Release
Contact:  Matt Schilling
614 | 466 7750

PUCO approves upgrades of seven rail crossings throughout Ohio

COLUMBUS, OHIO (April 9, 2014) – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today approved seven highway-rail grade crossing projects in Columbiana, Defiance, Mahoning, Putnam, Seneca and Summit counties. The upgrades will be made as follows:

  • CSX Transportation (CSX) will install flashing lights at the State Route 18 (142-347B) highway-rail grade crossing in the city of Defiance. CSX will also install flashing lights and gates at the St. Peter Road/Township Road 96 (228-775P) grade crossing in Big Spring Township, Seneca County.
  • Norfolk Southern Railway (NS) will install flashing lights and gates at the Hazel Run Road/Township Road 879 (502-396L) grade crossing in Washington Township, Columbiana County.
  • Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway (WE) will install flashing lights and gates at the Fairway Plaza Drive (002-122L) grade crossing in the city of Akron, Summit County.
  • Youngstown & Austintown Railroad (YARR) will install flashing lights and gates at the Hazelwood Avenue (262-367T) grade crossing in the city of Youngstown, Mahoning County.

The railroads will be responsible for completing construction of their projects by Jan. 9, 2015. Funding for the upgrades will be provided by federal funds.

Separately, the PUCO approved an agreement between the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC), CSX and the village of Columbus Grove in which CSX will install active grade crossing warning devices at the Pearl Street (155707J) and Broadway Street (155-709X) grade crossings. The Maple Street (155-708R) grade crossing will be permanently closed. CSX should complete the project by April 9, 2015. Funding for these upgrades will be shared among the PUCO, ORDC, CSX and the Village.

To increase public safety during the construction of the projects, the PUCO will 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. 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/.

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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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