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

PUCO approves rail crossing upgrades

COLUMBUS, OHIO (May 6, 2020) – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today approved construction authorization from the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) directing Norfolk Southern Railway (NS) and Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad (WLE) to make upgrades at rail crossings in Fulton and Lorain counties.

NS will modify and upgrade active warning devices at the S. Main Street/State Route 64 grade crossing in the village of Swanton, Fulton County, by May 6, 2021.

WLE will install active warning devices at a Gore-Orphanage Road/County Road 34 in Lorain County by May 6, 2021.

Federal funding will be provided for these projects.

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 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 69 in 2019.

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 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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