State approves funds to improve safety at Pend Oreille County railroad crossing?

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Docket Number: TR-200157

State approves funds to improve safety at Pend Oreille County railroad crossing? 

Olympia, Wash. - On Friday, State regulators approved funds to improve the safety?of?a railroad crossing in Pend Oreille County.?

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) approved $19,900 from the Grade Crossing Protective Fund (GCPF) to pay for upgrades at a highway-rail crossing at the intersection of Pine Street and the tracks of the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad in the city of Newport.

The City of Newport plans to use the funds to improve safety at the crossing by installing an ADA-compliant pedestrian surface at the crossing. 

Pine Street is a two-lane roadway with a speed limit of 25 miles per hour. The average annual daily traffic through the crossing is 1,600 vehicles, including 10% commercial vehicle traffic. Two freight trains operate over this crossing daily at up to 20 miles per hour. No passenger trains operate over the crossing.

The City of Newport requested the funds to pay for the pedestrian crossing surface, as part of a larger sidewalk project that is funded separately. The City of Newport will cover any costs in excess of $19,900 and will provide the labor needed for installation. The project must be completed by?Dec. 31, 2020.?

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.