PUCO approves upgrade of rail crossing in Wayne County and closure of three crossings in Defiance County
COLUMBUS, OHIO (Nov. 9, 2016) – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today approved the upgrade of a rail crossing in Wayne County. The Commission also modified and approved an agreement to make roadway modifications and close three public rail crossings in Defiance County.
The Commission approved construction authorization from the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) directing the installation of mast-mounted flashing lights and roadway gates at the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad crossing at Goudy Road/Township Road 334 in Wayne County.
The grade crossing improvement project is to be completed by Aug. 9, 2017. Federal funding for this project is provided through the ORDC.
The Commission also modified and approved an agreement between PUCO staff, CSX Transportation, Defiance County and Delaware Township to close public grade crossings at Ashwood Road, Tittle Road and Jacobs Trail Road in Defiance County in exchange for roadway modifications that move the roadways off the railroad tracks. Funding for this project will be shared among the PUCO, CSX, county and township.
To increase public safety during construction of the project, 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/.
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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