Lincoln Avenue railroad crossing to be upgraded

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio last week approved an upgrade to the rail crossing at East Lincoln Avenue, just east of Indianola Avenue.

The commission accepted construction authorization from the Ohio Rail Development Commission directing Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX Transportation to install modernized lights and gates with upgraded warning-device circuitry at the crossing, according to the announcement.

The railroad will be responsible for completing construction of the upgrade by Aug. 28, 2013. Federal funds will be used.

To increase public safety during the construction of the projects, the commission will assist local governments with the cost of improvements such as rumble strips, illumination, improved signs or other safety enhancements at the crossing, the announcement said.

Funding for the improvements will come from the State Grade Crossing Safety Fund and will not exceed $5,000.

The commission is responsible for evaluating Ohio's public grade crossings to determine the need for active warning devices.

Over the past decade, the annual number of train-motor vehicle crashes in Ohio has decreased significantly, from 123 in 2001 to 64 in 2011, according to the announcement.

The Ohio Rail Hotline, 866-814-7245, provides a toll-free resource for all railroad-crossing questions.

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