Washington, Ohio agencies OK grade crossing projects

(Source: Progressive Railroading 08/27/2018)

Agencies in Washington and Ohio have approved upgrades to railroad crossings.

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) approved a $19,084 grant from the Grade Crossing Protective Fund to improve a grade crossing on Walnut Street in Bingen, Washington. BNSF Railway Co., which owns the track, has agreed to the request and will complete the upgrades, according to a UTC press release.

The grant will help fund the installation of constant-warning train detection, crossing gates, new batteries and chargers, and a new relocated bungalow.

Additionally, the city received $430,000 from the state’s 2017-2019 transportation budget to use for the crossing upgrade, bringing total funding for the safety improvements to $449,100.

The crossing was identified by UTC rail safety staff as a priority under-protected crossing along an oil route. Up to 30 freight trains and two passenger trains traveling 45 mph use the crossing daily. The crossing improvements must be completed by June 30, 2019.

Meanwhile, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) recently approved construction authorization from the Ohio Rail Development Commission directing Norfolk Southern Railway and Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway to install and update warning devices at rail crossings in Cuyahoga, Jefferson, Madison and Summit counties in Ohio.

NS and Wheeling & Lake Erie will install active warning devices at the Public Road grade crossings in Yorkville, Jefferson County, PUCO officials said in a press release.

NS also will upgrade to LED lights in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, at the East 26th Street grade crossing; install new sidelines, upgrade to LED lighting and replace masts at the Main Street grade crossing in London, Madison County; and upgrade to LED lights at the Stow Road grade crossing in Hudson, Summit County.

Federal funding will pay for the work. The railroads are required to complete the upgrades by May 22, 2019.