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

PUCO approves the upgrade of rail crossings in Allen, Butler, Cuyahoga and Hardin counties

COLUMBUS, OHIO (Aug. 17, 2016) – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today approved construction authorization from the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) directing the installation of mast-mounted flashing lights, roadway gates and additional grade crossing protective devices at crossings in Allen, Butler, Cuyahoga and Hardin counties.

The Chicago, Ft. Wayne & Eastern Railroad (CFE) will upgrade the rail crossings at Grubb Road/County Road 77, near the village of Elida, Allen County. CFE will also upgrade the rail crossings at County Road 215, Campbell Street and S. Martin Street/State Route 37, in Forest, Hardin County.

Cleveland Commercial Railroad (CCRL) will upgrade the rail crossing at Richmond Road/State Route 175, Bedford Heights, Cuyahoga County.

The CFE and CCRL grade crossing improvement projects are to be completed by May 17, 2017.

Norfolk Southern Railway (NS) will upgrade five rail crossings in Middletown, Butler County as listed below.


Location


Mast-mounted flashing lights and roadway gates

One cantilevered light

Traffic
preemption

First Avenue

Yes

 

Yes

Central Avenue

Yes

Yes

Yes

Woodlawn Avenue

Yes

Yes

Yes

Manchester Avenue

Yes

 

Yes

Oxford State Road

Yes

 

 

 

The NS grade crossing improvement projects are to be completed by November 17, 2017.

Federal funding for these projects is provided through the ORDC. The PUCO continues this cooperative process to enhance and promote public safety at rail crossings throughout the state.

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 location. 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/.

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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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