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Rail News: Communication and Signal

Illinois commission's five-year plan sets aside more than $139 million for crossing upgrades


The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has approved a plan to spend more than $139 million to improve safety at more than 3,800 grade crossings during the next five years.

Projects will range from the installation of automatic flashing lights and signal upgrades to multi-million-dollar grade separations, such as the BNSF Railway Co./Belmont Road overpass in Downers Grove (estimated to cost $36.2 million). The five-year plans also calls for installing reflective crossbuck warning and/or yield signs, and modifying remote monitoring devices at dozens of crossings.

The state of Illinois currently appropriates $27 million annually for crossing upgrades through the Grade Crossing Protection Fund, which partially covers the cost to install warning systems, improve highway approaches, and build or reconstruct grade separations.