Rail crossing safety improvements

Local News
Rail Crossing Generic

ELMHURST, IL – JUNE 16: A Union Pacific freight train’s lead engine passes over a grade crossing beyond flashing lights on a safety gate June 16, 2006 in Elmhurst, Illinois. The Federal Railroad Administrator (FRA) in a recently issued report says for the safety of rail passengers and motorists, they support the extended use of […]

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) —  The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has released its 2020-2024 Rail Crossing Safety Improvement 5-Year Plan proposing the implementation of rail safety capital projects in communities across Illinois.

Over the five years, the ICC is expected to spend over $250 million from the Grade Crossing Protection Fund (GCPF) to help local communities and railroads pay for safety improvements at nearly 800 crossing locations statewide.

A few of the major projects proposed in our area for FY2020 (July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020) include:

  • $396,000 to help the City of Paxton to reconstruct roadway approaches, install automatic flashing light signals and install roadway gates at the 3600 North highway-rail grade crossing of Illinois Central Railroad’s tracks in Champaign County.
  • $342,000 to install new interconnect; install gates and automatic flashing light signals at the E Eldorado Street highway-rail grade crossing of the Decatur & Eastern Illinois Railroad’s tracks in Decatur, Macon County.
  • $5.1 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.

In 2018, preliminary statistics indicate there were 82 collisions at public crossings in Illinois, compared to 88 in 2017, a decrease of 6.8 percent. 31.7% (26 of 82) all collisions in 2018 involved cars driving into the side of trains. Total fatalities resulting from collisions at highway-rail crossings in Illinois decreased from 25 in 2017 to 19 in 2018.

The Crossing Safety Improvement Plan is published annually by the ICC and can be found on the ICC website.

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