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The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) last week approved construction authorization form the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) for the installation of active warning devices at grade crossings in Huron and Tuscarawas counties.In Huron County, the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway will install lights and gates at the Corwin Street grade crossing in the city of Norwalk.In Tuscarawas County, the Columbus & Ohio River Railroad will install lights and gates at the West Street grade crossing in the village of Newcomerstown.The upgrades are to be completed by Nov. 21. Federal funding for the projects is approved through the ORDC, PUCO officials said in a press release.To increase public safety during the construction of the projects, local governments may seek funding from the PUCO for the cost of safety improvements such as rumble strips, illumination, improved signage or other enhancements at the project locations. Funding for such improvements comes from the State Grade Crossing Safety Fund and may not exceed $5,000 per project.The PUCO is responsible for evaluating Ohio's public grade crossings to determine the need for installing active warning devices. Since the PUCO began implementing those evaluations, the annual number of train-motor vehicle crashes in Ohio has decreased from 123 in 2001 to 64 in 2016.
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