State approves $20,000 for safer Pullman rail crossing
Upgraded warning devices coming to Whitman Street crossing
OLYMPIA, Wash. – State regulators today approved $20,000 in warning-device upgrades to better protect motorists and pedestrians at a well-traveled railroad crossing in Pullman.
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) approved a Grade Crossing Protective Fund (GCPF) grant at the request of the Washington & Idaho Railway to upgrade warning devices at a crossing on Whitman Street in Pullman.
The UTC took the action at the recommendation of its staff, which inspected the site and confirmed the railroad’s finding that the crossing would be safer with new crossbucks, LED lights and replacement of the battery charger, and surge protection panel. In addition an upgraded train detection system will be installed that will warn motorists and pedestrians when a train is approaching the crossing.
The Whitman Street crossing sees an average daily traffic volume of 1,320 vehicles and two freight trains. Also, the two-lane roadway is an established school bus and truck route in Pullman.
The $20,000 grant will combine with railroad-provided labor to install the safety improvements.
The 1969 Legislature created the GCPF program to provide money for safety measures to reduce accidents and fatalities at public and private crossings and along railroad tracks.
The UTC regulates railroad safety, including approving new grade crossings and closing or altering existing rail crossings, investigating train accidents, inspecting public-railroad crossings, approving safety projects, and managing safety education through Operation Lifesaver.