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The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) last week approved funding authorization from the Ohio Rail Development Commission directing three railroads to upgrade warning devices at five grade crossings.Norfolk Southern Railway will install LED lights, new gates mechanisms and upgraded circuitry at a crossing in South Point, while CSX Transportation will install flashing lights and gates at a crossing near Marysville. PUCO also directed the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway Co. to install flashing lights and gates at crossings in Chatfield Township, Norwalk and Ridgefield Township.Funded by federal dollars, the upgrades must be completed no later than July 29, 2015.In the Pacific Northwest, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) approved a $9,863 Grade Crossing Protective Fund (GCPF) grant request from the Columbia Basin Railroad for crossing work.The short line will use the proceeds to replace crossbucks and crossbuck posts, replace or install yield or stop signs, and install reflective tape at 49 crossings. In addition, the railroad will install “Tracks Out of Service” signs at 16 crossings. All work must be completed by May 30, 2015.The UTC also approved an $8,427 GCPF grant request from the Central Washington Railroad to replace crossbucks and crossbuck posts, replace or install yield or stop signs, and install reflective tape at 49 crossings by May 30, 2015.Meanwhile, the Montana Department of Transportation (MDOT) is seeking public comments on five projects planned to start in spring 2015 that involve four BNSF Railway Co. crossings and one Union Pacific Railroad crossing.A cooperative project between MDOT, Hill County and BNSF calls for installing flashing lights/gates and two 32-foot concrete crossing surfaces at a crossing west of Havre.MDOT would fund the signal system and part of a new concrete crossing surface.With MDOT and Yellowstone County, BNSF plans to install flashing lights/gates and one 32-foot concrete surface at a crossing near Laurel, and flashing lights/gates at a different crossing near Laurel. The department would fund the signal systems and share some of the concrete surface's cost.In addition, through a cooperative project with MDOT and Cascade County, BNSF would install department-funded flashing lights and gates at a crossing in Armington.MDOT also is working with Beaverhead County and UP to install department-funded flashing lights/gates and a new concrete surface at a crossing near Dillon.
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