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More than 60 percent of highway-rail grade crossing accidents occur at locations equipped with automated warning systems, according to the Federal Railroad Administration. Many of these crossings have been identified as 'high risk' and recommended for separation, but these projects often are deemed infeasible due to steep costs and extensive construction schedules, ART Engineering Inc. officials said.So, the company has invested in the research and development of a grade separation technology designed aimed at increasing railroad safety and reducing construction costs. The resulting product is now recognized as Grade Separation Systems (GSS), which has been forecasted to save upwards of $2 million per project, while also reducing construction schedules by up to 50 percent, according to ART Engineering.GSS accomplishes this through the incorporation of modern accelerated bridge construction techniques. Precast bridge segments are prepared prior to construction to reduce site interference. Rail interruption only occurs in four-hour periods to minimize or even eliminate disruption of railway schedules. The permanent bridge is constructed without the need for temporary structures or railway detours. Finally, the system is adaptable and can accommodate virtually every underpass construction project, ART Engineering officials said.
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