PUCO approves the upgrade of rail crossings in Clinton, Hancock and Lake counties
COLUMBUS, OHIO (Nov. 1, 2017) – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today approved construction authorization from the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) Norfolk Southern Railway (NS), Indiana & Ohio Railway (IO) and Grand River Railway (GR) to make the following rail crossings improvements.
- Clinton County: IO will install new lights and gates at the State Route 123/Broadway Street grade crossing in the village of Blanchester.
- Hancock County: NS will install traffic pre-emption (gates and lights that communicate with the nearby traffic light) at the Lima Avenue grade crossing in the city of Findlay.
- Lake County: GR will install lights and gates at the Williams Street grade crossing, near the village of Grand River, and the Richmond Road/State Route 283 grade crossing, near the city of Painesville.
The Hancock County project is to be completed by Jan. 25, 2019. All other grade crossing projects are to be completed by July 25, 2018. Federal funding for these projects is provided through the ORDC.
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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