State plans rail crossing upgrades

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND)- The Illinois Commerce Commission this week announced its annual five-year-plan for safety upgrades at rail crossings.

Under the plan, ICC will spend about $194 million from the Grade Crossing Protection Fund (GCPF) to help cities, counties and railroads pay for safety improvements at over 700 crossing locations.

“We try to target specific areas, for instance we have passenger train operations … so our goal is to try to improve safety in those corridors,” said Mike Stead, Rail Safety Program Administrator. “(We also consider) train volume, highway volume, train speed and highway speed." 

Among the projects listed are:

  • $1 million to reconstruct roadway approaches; install gates and automatic flashing light signals at Martin Luther King Jr. Drive of the Illinois Central Railroad’s tracks in Decatur, Macon County. (FY19)
  • $12.6 million to assist Sangamon County with the cost to construct a new grade separation to carry Iron Bridge Road over the Union Pacific Railroad’s track, near Chatham, Sangamon County (FY19)
  • $9 million to assist Champaign County with the cost to construct a new bridge to carry Curtis Road over the Illinois Central Railroad’s track to replace the existing Curtis Road highway-rail grade crossing in Savoy, Champaign County. (FY23)

For a full list of all projects, click here and select FY 2019-2023.

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