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The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (Metro) board yesterday approved a contract for a program that would identify potential safety improvements at grade crossings along 160 miles of Metro-owned right of way in the county.The L.A. County Grade Crossing and Corridor Safety Program is part of a three-year, $3.87 million contact that was awarded to the engineering firm AECOM. The program will establish a comprehensive strategy to improve grade crossing safety on right of way operated by the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) for Metrolink commuter-rail service, according to a Metro press release.The program will include engineering studies to identify potential improvements at 153 crossings. It also will analyze methods to prevent unauthorized access to the right of way through enforcement, fencing and advanced technology. State and federal grant opportunities will be explored as potential funding sources for the improvements."Our responsibility as the region's largest transportation agency is to develop programs like this one to identify areas where we can implement additional safety enhancements along our rail corridors and potentially save lives," said Metro Chief Executive Officer Phil Washington.The program will supplement SCRRA's Sealed Corridor Program, which has enabled the authority to upgrade several crossings with state-of-the-art equipment, enhanced pedestrian treatments, four-quadrant gates or advanced preemption.
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