Washington state regulators approved funds to improve the safety at two railroad crossings in Stevens County, Wash.
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission approved more than $26,000 from the Grade Crossing Protective Fund to upgrade warning devices at two grade crossings in the city of Kettle Falls.
The two rail improvement projects are located at the intersections of Juniper Street and Meyers Street and Kettle Falls International Railway (KFI) tracks in Kettle Falls.
KFI plans to use the funds to improve the signal equipment at both crossings by upgrading flashing lights to long-lasting, energy-efficient flashing LED lights, replace the system batteries and install an electronic bell with newer motion detection technology.
These upgrades are expected to improve the overall safety at the crossing because motorists and pedestrians can rely on the new warning devices to determine if a train is approaching the crossing. LED flashing lights provide greater visibility for motorists.
The upgrades must be completed by February 28, 2013. KFI is contributing an additional $10,441 toward the cost of equipment for the projects.
In other grade-crossing news, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio approved construction authorization from the Ohio Rail Development Commission directing CSX Transportation to install flashing lights and gates at the Edwards Road/Township Road 74 (518-477R) grade crossing in Ripley Township, Huron County.
The railroad will be responsible for completing construction of the upgrade by April 2, 2013. Funding for this upgrade will be provided by federal funds.
To increase public safety during the construction of the projects, PUCO will assist the local governments with the cost of improvements, such as rumble strips, illumination, improved signage or other safety enhancements at the project location. Funding for the improvements will come from the State Grade Crossing Safety Fund and will not exceed $5,000.