PUCO approves upgrade of rail crossings in Lake, Trumbull, Scioto and Summit counties
COLUMBUS, OHIO (Jan. 9, 2018) –The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today approved construction authorization from the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) directing CSX Transportation (CSX), Norfolk Southern Railway (NS) and Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad (WLE) to make the following upgrades and installations at rail crossings in Lake, Trumbull, Scioto and Summit counties.
CSX will make the following installations and upgrades:
- Upgrade to LED lights, add bells, and relocate the warning devices in the northwest and southeast quadrants at the Erie Street grade crossing in the city of Willoughby, Lake County.
- Install lights with bells at the Muth Road grade crossing in the village of Lordstown, Trumbull County.
NS is to install new lights and gates at the Bertha Avenue grade crossing in the city of Portsmouth, Scioto County
CSX and NS are directed to complete the work by Jan. 9, 2020.
WLE is to install lights and gates, and advanced traffic preemption, at the Castle Boulevard grade crossing in the city of Akron, Summit County. WLE is directed to complete the work by Oct. 9, 2019.
Federal funding will be provided for all of 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/.
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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