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Friday, January 18, 2013    

Crossing upgrades advance in North Carolina, Washington

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) has awarded a $7.6 million contract to Blythe Construction Inc. to improve safety at a grade crossing in Salisbury. Work is slated to begin in late January and conclude in October 2016.

The project calls for building a rail bridge over Klumac Road and an underpass at the crossing, and realigning 0.6 miles of the road.

NCDOT data shows about 4,300 vehicles and 40 trains pass the crossing daily. By separating motor vehicles from trains, the potential for accidents will be reduced and the area's traffic flow will be more efficient, NCDOT officials said in a prepared statement.

The project is part of the Piedmont Improvement Program, which includes a series of rail projects designed to improve safety and mobility on a corridor between Raleigh and Charlotte.

Meanwhile, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission approved the allocation of $20,000 from the Grade Crossing Protective Fund to help fund upgrades to a Washington & Idaho Railway Inc. crossing in Pullman.

The railroad will use the funds to upgrade flashing lights to 12-inch LED flashing lights, replace crossbuck signs, and install upgraded train-detection and supporting equipment to boost the reliability of active warning devices.

Washington & Idaho Railway will contribute equipment and labor toward the project's cost. The upgrades must be completed by June 30.

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