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Rail News: Safety

New Jersey completes safety improvements at NJ Transit crossing

New Jersey government officials gathered earlier this week to unveil safety improvements made to a New Jersey Transit rail crossing in Elmwood Park, N.J.

Upgrades to the Midland Avenue crossing include a queue cutter traffic signal that ties crossing signals to stoplights at nearby intersections. The technology is aimed at helping prevent traffic back-ups onto the tracks, New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) staffers said in a statement.

Crews also completed a new crossing surface and new signage.

The queue cutter system is the first of its kind in the Northeast, while the new surface treatment is only the second in the nation, NJDOT officials said. A similar striping pattern employed in Florida helped reduce crossing incidents by 40 percent, they added.

NJDOT Commissioner Jamie Fox said that the use of the queue cutter system "could set the new standard for railroad crossings."

"I am proud of the work done on this project and feel confident that it will help improve driver safety and awareness," he said.

The estimated cost of the project was $800,000, with New Jersey covering $500,000 and the federal government providing the remainder.

In the past 15 years, there have been 19 crashes at the intersection, including two fatal accidents, local media reported.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/6/2015