COLUMBUS, OHIO (June 15, 2016) – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today approved an agreement between the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC), Chicago Ft. Wayne and Eastern Railroad (CFE), and the city of Van Wert for closures and safety updates to 14 crossings in Van Wert, Ohio, as listed below.
The grade crossing improvement projects are to be completed by June 15, 2017. Costs associated with the projects will be shared by CFE, the ORDC and the PUCO.
To increase public safety during the construction of the projects, the local government 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 123 in 2001 to 72 in 2015.
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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