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The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) approved more than $250,000 in grants to fund safety upgrades at a rail crossing on an oil train route in Spokane County, the commission announced last week.The Grade Crossing Protective Fund grant was approved at the request of Millwood city officials, who want to use the dollars to complete long-term safety improvements at the Marguerite Street railroad crossing, according to a UTC press release.The crossing has been identified by UTC rail safety staff as a priority under-protected crossing along an oil route. Existing railroad warning devices at the crossing consist of crossbucks and advance warning signs. The grade on the north approach to the crossing limits sight distance down the tracks, making it difficult for vehicles to stop, restart, and quickly clear the track, UTC officials said.The project will cost $445,810. The grant will cover the installation of active warning devices with flashing LED lights and gates. The city will spend $191,477 to complete a new concrete crossing surface, curb and gutter on both sides of the crossing, as well as an Americans with Disabilities Act compliant sidewalk. The city is responsible for all additional costs associated with the project.
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