Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ohio rail groups propose $32 million for safer crossings

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Ohio Rail Development Coalition (ORDC) have proposed designating $32 million of its federal economic stimulus funding request to make safety improvements to 270 roadway-rail crossings throughout the state.

The funding is part of $564 million requested in October for the 3C Corridor "Quick Start" passenger rail service that would connect Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, and Cleveland along existing rail lines.

Improvements could include active warning devices and lighting systems, gate improvements, and the installation of median barriers at grade crossings along the 250-mile route.

ODOT and ORDC believe that safety not only will be improved for rail passengers, but for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists as well.

In Ohio, there have been more than 500 crashes at locations where roadways and tracks intersect between 2004 and 2008.

Operation Lifesaver, a nationwide, non-profit public information program dedicated to reducing collisions, injuries and fatalities at highway-rail crossings, reports that 13 people were killed and 30 people were injured at Ohio crossings in 2008.

The state anticipates word on federal funding early next year.

Previous reading on BC:
State rail agencies studying development around six 'Quick Start' stations (12/7/09)
State rail group recommends DMUs for 3C 'Quick Start' (12/2/09)
State, county organizations support passenger rail (10/5/09)
Report: 3C 'Quick Start' could save Ohioans $36M per year, pay off in five years (9/29/09)
Caution, communication needed in 3C Corridor choices (8/6/09)