According to Cathy Stout, manager of safety programs, Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC), the state began focusing on improving railroad preemption of traffic control signals at intersections adjacent to highway-rail grade crossings in 2008. That year, CTC assisted ODOT and ORDC in developing standards for the state's approximately 203 preempted locations. CTC reviewed identified preempted locations in the state and also conducted statewide training on the new standards for ODOT traffic engineers.
From 2011 to 2013, CTC reviewed additional preempted locations throughout Ohio and implemented standards for all new projects requiring traffic signals to be interconnected with the grade-crossing warning system.
"We're very pleased to continue the work we began with ODOT and ORDC," said Rick Campbell, president, CTC. "Our team is well versed with Ohio's requirements and the safety goals the state is working to achieve."
As the prime consultant, CTC will assist ORDC with developing and administrating projects for existing interconnected crossings, including overall project management, project engineering and in-service testing. The firm will also continue to work with ODOT to implement the state's engineering standards for all preemption projects.
Ohio has been proactive by incorporating a preemption program as part of its approach to grade-crossing safety. Including other elements, such as safety upgrades at crossings and grade-crossing closures, Ohio has reduced grade crossing accidents by 36 percent since 2003.