PUCO Approves Rail Crossing Upgrades in Four Counties

Written by Kyra Senese, Managing Editor
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The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) has approved $1.6 million in state and federal funds for rail crossing safety upgrades in Clinton, Hamilton, Lucas, and Stark counties.

By Jan. 19, 2024, Indiana & Ohio Railway will install flashing lights, gates, and surface reconstruction at the Cuba Road grade crossing in Wilmington, Clinton County. By the same date, IORY will also install flashing lights and gates at the Camargo Road grade crossing in Indian Hill and the Roe Street grade crossing in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, a release said. Federal funds will cover $815,698 to complete the upgrades. 

RJ Corman Railroad will install active warning devices at the C.R. 333/Carmont Road grade crossing in Stark County by Jan. 19, 2024. The upgrades will cost $168,229 and be paid in federal funds. 

By April 19, 2024, the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad will install flashing lights and gates at the T.R. 259/Mill Street grade crossing in Canton Township, Stark County. Federal funds will pay $297,723 to complete the upgrades.

Also by April 19, 2024, Norfolk Southern Railway will install flashing lights and gates at the Monroe Street grade crossing in Sylvania, Lucas County. The project’s estimated cost is $642,423. From the State Grade Crossing Safety Fund, the PUCO will contribute $360,000. Norfolk Southern will pay for maintenance and the city of Sylvania will pay for any costs exceeding $360,000. 

Local governments may seek PUCO funding for the cost of safety improvements such as rumble strips, illumination, improved signage, or other enhancements at project locations to increase public safety during project construction. The State Grade Crossing Safety Fund provides funding for such improvements, which cannot exceed $5,000 per project.

The PUCO is responsible for assessing the need for active warning devices at Ohio’s public grade crossings. The annual number of train-motor vehicle crashes in Ohio has decreased significantly since the PUCO began implementing these evaluations, from 356 in 1990 to 61 in 2022, according to a release.