OLYMPIA, Wash. – State regulators today approved funds to improve the safety of a railroad crossing in Clark County.
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) approved $20,000 from the Grade Crossing Protective Fund (GCPF) to pay for upgrades at a railroad-highway grade crossing at N.E. 119 St. in unincorporated Vancouver.
Clark County will improve the crossing surface by replacing the current track, structure and surface materials, installing new mainline rail, hardwood crossties and concrete surface crossing panels.
N.E. 119 St. is a two-lane roadway that carries about 1,900 vehicles a day. Commercial traffic makes up about 7 percent of the daily traffic. School buses make 27 trips over the crossing each day. The posted vehicle speed is 50 miles per hour. Freight trains operate over this crossing twice a day at 10 miles per hour.
The total project costs are estimated at $106,265 with Clark County paying for all costs exceeding $20,000. The upgrades must be completed by Dec. 31, 2013.
The Legislature created the GCPF in 1969 to provide money for safety measures designed to decrease the potential for accidents and fatalities at public and private crossings and along railroad tracks in the state. The UTC administers the fund.
The UTC is the state agency responsible for railroad safety, including approving new grade crossings and closing or altering existing rail crossings. The agency investigates train accidents, inspects public-railroad crossings, approves rail-safety improvement projects and manages Operation Lifesaver, a rail-safety education program in Washington and nationwide.