Friday, February 15, 2013

ConnDOT expedites crossing gate installation, PUCO approves four crossing upgrades

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) plans to expedite the installation of vehicle warning gates at the Long Ridge Road grade crossing in Redding, Conn.

The gates will be installed at the existing railroad crossing as part of the implementation of Centralized Train Control (CTC) on the Danbury Branch of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Metro-North Commuter Railroad. The project is currently in construction and it is anticipated that the new gates will be installed and operational by April 30, 2013.

Originally, the railroad gates were to be installed under a local railroad/highway project that included the relocation of the railroad crossing and the realignment of the intersection of Long Ridge Road, Side Cut Road and Simpaug Turnpike. However, environmental and right-of-way issues will delay construction until late 2014.

ConnDOT Commissioner James Redeker said that his agency reviewed the projects and agreed that the gates should be installed without further delay as part of the signalization project, in accordance with the department's commitment to safety. When the roadway realignment is complete, the gates will be relocated to the new site.

"I am glad that the DOT is willing and able to install gates now while the road alignment project continues to move forward," said Redding First Selectman Natalie Ketcham. "Both will provide important safety enhancements at the rail crossing."

In other crossing news, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved construction authorization from the Ohio Rail Development Commission directing Norfolk Southern (NS) to install mast-mounted flashing lights and roadway gates at the Oak Street, Maple Street and Madison Road grade crossings in the city of London, Madison County. NS will be responsible for completing the upgrades by Nov. 13, 2013 and funding for the projects will be provided by federal funds.

In addition, PUCO also approved a stipulation directing NS to install flashing lights and warning gates at the Griggs Street grade crossing in the village of Ashville, Pickaway County. The railroad will be responsible for completing construction of this upgrade by Feb.13, 2014 and funding for this project will be provided by federal funds, PUCO and NS.

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