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Safety upgrades approved for 8 Walla Walla County crossings

Docket Numbers: TR-200326, TR-200327, TR-200328, TR-200329, TR-200330, TR-200333, TR-200334, and TR-200368

Safety upgrades approved for 8 Walla Walla County crossings  

Olympia, Wash. - State regulators today approved more than $36,000 in safety grants for the Columbia – Walla Walla Railroad to upgrade signals at eight public railroad crossings in Walla Walla County.

The Utilities and Transportation Commission approved the Grade Crossing Protective Fund (GCPF) grants to replace existing incandescent lights with LED lights on the signal equipment and gate arms.

The grants, which range between $2,600 and $6,800, will be at the following crossings: 
• Prospect Avenue; 
• Poplar Street;
• Wallula Avenue;
• Tietan Street; 
• Chestnut Street;
• Rose Street;
• Last Chance Road; and
• State Route 124. 

The upgrades will improve the overall safety at the crossings by providing greater visibility of the warning devices for drivers and pedestrians.

The upgrades must be completed by Dec. 31, 2020. The railroad will cover any costs over the approved grant amount including labor associated with the upgrades. ?

The 1969 Legislature created the GCPF 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.