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The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) last week authorized the installation of mast-mounted flashing lights and roadway gates at four crossings in Canton, Ohio.The commission's action endorsed the Ohio Rail Development Commission's earlier construction authorization of the project, which also involves the Metro Regional Transit Authority and city of Canton.The Canton crossings were at Third, Fifth, Sixth and Ninth streets SW.In addition, PUCO approved a plan to permanently close rail crossings at Seccombe Place SW and Second Street SW. The costs of the projects will be shared between PUCO, the rail commission, the transit agency and Canton.The grade crossing improvements were slated for completion last week. PUCO is responsible for evaluating Ohio’s public grade crossings to determine the need for installing active warning devices. Since the commission began implementing these evaluations, the annual number of train-motor vehicle crashes in Ohio has decreased significantly, from 123 in 2001 to 76 in 2014, according to a PUCO press release.
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