PUCO approves the upgrade of rail crossings in Ashland, Butler, Champaign, Cuyahoga, Hamilton, Seneca and Wayne counties
COLUMBUS, OHIO (Oct. 20, 2017) – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today approved construction authorization from the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) directing Northern Ohio & Western Railway (NOW), Norfolk Southern Railway (NS), Ashland Railway (AR), Cleveland Commercial Railroad (CC), Indiana & Ohio Railway (IO), and CSX Transportation (CSX) to make the following rail crossings improvements.
- Ashland County: AR will install lights and gates at the Township Road 1455 grade crossing and the State Route 96 grade crossing.
- Butler County: CSX will install traffic pre-emption (gates that communicate with the nearby traffic light) at the Chestnut Street grade crossing in the city of Oxford.
- Champaign County: Following a separate surface reconstruction project, IO will install lights and gates at the N. Hampton-Donnelsville Road grade crossing in Jackson Township.
- Cuyahoga County: CC will remove the existing pedestrian crossing gate, repair sidewalks and install a new crossing surface at the Lee Road grade crossing in the city of Cleveland.
- Hamilton County: NS will install lights and gates at the 66th Street grade crossing.
- Seneca County: Following a separate surface reconstruction project, NOW will install lights and gates at the County Road 11 grade crossing.
- Wayne County: AR will install lights and gates at the State Route 301 grade crossing.
The Hamilton County project is to be completed by Jan. 18, 2019. All other grade crossing projects are to be completed by July 18, 2018.
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 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 64 in 2016.
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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