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

PUCO approves upgrade of rail crossings in Columbiana,Tuscarawas counties

COLUMBUS, OHIO (Oct 10, 2018) –The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today approved construction authorization from the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) directing Norfolk Southern Railway (NS) and Ohio Central Railroad to upgrade rail crossings in Columbiana and Tuscarawas counties.

NS will install lights and gates at the Bayard Road and the Essick Road/ ownship Road 704 crossings in West Township, Columbiana County. The railroad is directed to complete the work by Oct. 10 2019.

Ohio Central Railroad will upgrade the circuitry at the existing warning devices at the Dover Road/State Route 39 crossing to interconnect with nearby traffic signals. The railroad is directed to complete the work by July 10, 2019

Federal funding will be provided for these upgrades.

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 356 in 1990 to 68 in 2017.

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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