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The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) yesterday approved construction authorization from the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) to improve public safety at three rail crossings in the state.In Clinton County, Indiana & Ohio Railway will install mast-mounted, cantilevered flashing lights and roadway gates at the crossing at North College Street in the village of Sabina; and mast-mounted flashing lights and roadway gates at the crossing at Stone Road/County Road 23 near Wilmington. Those projects are scheduled to be completed by May 19, 2016. They will be paid for with federal dollars through the ORDC.In Huron County, CSX Transportation and the city of Willard will close a crossing to pedestrian and vehicular traffic at 3rd Street until upgrades are completed. That project is expected to be completed by Sept. 26.To increase public safety during construction, local governments may seek funds from PUCO to cover the cost of safety measures such as rumble strips, illumination, improved signage or other enhancements at the project location, PUCO officials said in a press release.PUCO evaluates Ohio’s public grade crossings to determine the need for the installation of acting warning devices. Since the agency began conducting the evaluations, the number of train-motor vehicle crashes in Ohio has fallen from 123 in 2001 to 76 in 2014.
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