COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio today adopted an agreement between PUCO Staff, Ohio Rail Development Commission, Cleveland Commercial Railroad, the City of Bedford and Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway to install flashing lights and roadway gates at grade crossings in the City of Bedford, Cuyahoga County.
CCR will install new flashing lights and roadway gates at Powers Street (524-342Y), Willis Street and North Park Street grade crossings in the City of Bedford in Cuyahoga County. Upon the completion of construction, CCR will also close grade crossings located at Monroe Street and South Park Street.
CCR must submit site plans and cost estimates for the project to the PUCO by Sept. 28, 2010. Funding for this upgrade will be provided through federal funds. CCR will be responsible for completing construction of the upgrade by June 30, 2011.
Separately, the Commission approved construction authorization from the ORDC directing and Columbus & Ohio River Railroad to install flashing lights and roadway gates at the Waterworks Road grade crossing in the City of Newark, Licking County. Funding for this upgrade will be provided through federal funds. CUOH will be responsible for completing construction of the upgrade by March 30, 2011.
To increase public safety during the construction of these upgrades, the 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 locations. Funding for these improvements will come from the State Grade Crossing Safety Fund, and will not exceed $5,000.
The PUCO is responsible for evaluating Ohio's public grade crossings to determine the need for installing active warning devices. In 2009, the PUCO played a part in the installation of lights and gates at 68 grade crossings throughout the state. Over the past two decades, the annual number of train-motor vehicle crashes in Ohio has decreased significantly, from 412 in 1988 to 55 in 2009.
The Ohio Rail Hotline, at (866) 814-RAIL (7245), provides Ohioans with a toll-free resource for all railroad crossing questions.