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The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) has approved construction authorization from the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) directing Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX to improve rail crossings in Marion and Miami counties.NS will upgrade active warning devices at the Bellefontaine Avenue/ State Route 739 grade crossing in the city of Marion, Marion County. CSX will upgrade active warning devices at the Piqua Sidney Road/ County Road 25A grade crossing in the city of Piqua, Miami County, according to a PUCO press release.The grade crossing improvements are to be completed by Feb. 3, 2018. Federal funding for those projects is provided through the ORDC.To increase public safety during project construction, local governments may seek funding up to $5,000 per project for the cost of safety improvements such as rumble strips, illumination, improved signage or other enhancements at the project locations. The funding comes from the State Grade Crossing Safety Fund.The PUCO evaluates Ohio's public grade crossings to determine the need for installing active warning devices. Since the panel began its evaluations, the annual number of train-motor vehicle crashes in the state has declined from 123 in 2001 to 64 in 2016.
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