Illinois Commission Approves Effingham Highway-Rail Crossing Project  

Written by Kyra Senese, Managing Editor
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The Illinois Commerce Commission has approved a $623,575 public safety project for a highway-rail crossing in South Central Illinois.

The agreement calls for CSX Transportation Inc. to install new automatic warning devices at a highway-rail grade crossing along Wabash Avenue in Effingham, Illinois.

The new automatic warning devices at the crossings are expected to cost $623,575, according to a release. Staff proposed to the Commission that the Grade Crossing Protection Fund be used to cover 95% of the expenses—up to a maximum of $592,396—related to installing the new warning systems. CSX will be required to cover all remaining installation costs as well as all future maintenance costs for the new warning devices.

“Upgrades to the warning devices will make this crossing much safer for pedestrians and motorists,” said ICC Commissioner Michael Carrigan. “The Grade Crossing Protection Fund makes it possible for projects such as this one in Effingham to advance.”

All of the planned project work is expected to wrap up within 12 months of the order date, a release said.

The GCPF was established by legislation passed by the State of Illinois in 1955. Since then, Illinois has increased financing for programs such as the closure and consolidation of existing public crossings, the installation of new warning systems, and other activities aimed at improving public highway-rail safety, ICC said.

The GCPF is administered by the Commission and is supported by motor fuel tax money allocated for rail safety enhancements. The General Assembly appropriates $42 million for the GCPF each year.