The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) on Mach 22 approved safety upgrades at a rail crossing in Hamilton County.
According to PUCO, Indiana & Ohio Railway (IORY), which is owned by Genesee & Wyoming Inc., will install flashing lights and a new crossing surface at the Highland Avenue grade crossing in the Village of Silverton, Hamilton County by Dec. 22, 2023. Federal funds will pay $290,761, while IORY will pay $64,387 to complete the upgrades.
To increase public safety during the construction of the projects, the Commission says local governments may seek funding from PUCO for the cost of safety improvements, such as rumble strips, illumination, improved signage or other enhancements at project locations. Funding for such improvements comes from the State Grade Crossing Safety fund and may not exceed $5,000 per project.
PUCO is responsible for evaluating Ohio’s public grade crossings to determine the need for installing active warning devices. Since PUCO began implementing these evaluations, the Commissions says the annual number of train-motor vehicle crashes in Ohio has decreased significantly, from 356 in 1990 to 53 in 2021.