COLUMBUS, OHIO (Jan. 18, 2017) – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today approved construction authorization from the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) directing Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway (WLE) and RJ Corman Railroad (RJC) to make the following improvements at rail crossings in Crawford, Summit and Tuscarawas counties.
WLE will install lights and gates at the Summit Street, Akron, Summit County and Scott Road/County Road 50, Crawford County rail crossings.
RJC will install lights and gates in Strasburg, Tuscarawas County at the rail crossings of Zeltman Avenue NE and 12th Street NE.
The grade crossing improvement projects are to be completed by Oct. 18, 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 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/.