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The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) yesterday approved construction authorization from the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) directing the installation of mast-mounted flashing lights and roadway gates at grade crossings in Allen, Sandusky and Wood counties.CSX Transportation will carry out grade crossing updates in Wood and Allen counties, while Norfolk Southern Railway will upgrade a crossing in Sandusky County, PUCO officials said in a press release.The grade crossing improvements are to be completed by Oct. 6. Federal funding for the projects is provided through the ORDC.To increase public safety during construction, local governments may seek funding from PUCO for the cost of safety improvements such as rumble strips, illumination, improved signage and other enhancements at the project location. Funding for such improvements comes from Ohio's Grade Crossing Safety Fund and may not exceed $5,000 per project, PUCO officials said.