For Immediate Release
Contact:  Matt Schilling
(614) 466 7750

PUCO approves rail crossing upgrades in Marion, Medina, Portage and Tuscarawas counties

COLUMBUS, OHIO (April 3, 2019) – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today approved construction authorization from the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) directing Ohio railroads to make the following upgrades and installations at the following rail crossings:

  • Norfolk Southern Railway (NS)  is to upgrade LED lights and curbing for regulatory compliance at the Silver Street grade crossing in the city of Marion, Marion County.
     
  • RJ Corman Railroad (RJC) will install lights and gates at the Mt. Pleasant Road/ Township Road 424 grade crossing in Dover Township, Tuscarawas County.

NS and RJC are directed to complete the projects listed above by Jan. 3, 2020.  Federal funding is provided by the Ohio Rail Development Commission.

Separately, the PUCO today approved construction of the following upgrades from Akron Barberton Cluster Railway (ABC):

  • Upgrade lights and gates at Medina Line Road/ County Road 2 grade crossing near the city of Barberton, Medina County.
     
  • Upgrade to cantilever lights and gates at the Main Street grade crossing in the city of Kent, Portage County.
     
  • Upgrade lights and gates, and locate the warning devices closer to the tracks, at the Main Street/ State Route 4 grade crossing in the city of Wadsworth, Medina County.

ABC is directed to complete the projects listed above by April 3, 2020. Funding for the projects above will be split between ABC and the PUCO.

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 locations. 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 356 in 1990 to 68 in 2017.

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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