The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) has approved safety upgrades at highway/rail grade crossings in Clinton, Fairfield and Jackson counties.
PUCO is responsible for evaluating Ohio’s public grade crossings to determine the need for active warning device installation. Since implementing these evaluations, the annual number of train-motor vehicle crashes in the state has decreased from 356 in 1990 to 53 in 2021, according to the Commission.
Following are the new PUCO-approved projects:
- Indiana & Ohio Railway (IORY) will install flashing lights, gates and surface reconstruction at the U.S. 68/Broadway Street grade crossing in the village of Midland, Clinton County, and at the T.R. 1497/Wilson’s Lane grade crossing in Berne Township, Fairfield County. Work will be completed on both projects by Oct. 11, 2023. The $497,009 Clinton County project will be covered by federal grants. The $474,525.28 Fairfield County project will be covered by federal grants ($408,836) and IORY, a Genesee & Wyoming subsidiary ($65,689.28).
- Ohio South Central Railroad (OSCR) will install flashing lights at two grade crossings on S.R. 93 in Jackson County by Jan. 11, 2024. Through the State Grade Crossing Protection Fund, PUCO will provide $7,500 for each crossing for a total of $15,000. OSCR will pay all remaining costs.
To increase public safety during construction, local governments may seek up to $5,000 per project from PUCO to pay for rumble strips, illumination, improved signage or other improvements, according to the Commission.