UTC approves $10,000 in rail safety upgrades near Longview

Docket Number: TR-210227

LACEY, Wash. - State regulators approved $10,000 in grant funding for a portion of the materials needed to completely rebuild a high-traffic railroad crossing at the Nippon Dynawave Packaging Company, LLC complex in Longview, Washington.

The Utilities and Transportation Commission approved the Grade Crossing Protective Fund (GCPF) grant at the request of Nippon Dynawave to replace the rail crossing at the intersection of State Route 432/Industrial Way and Washington Way.

The company applied for grant funding citing safety concerns and traffic impacts, noting that the asphalt has deteriorated to the point where it is unsafe for bicyclists and pedestrians. Additionally, the more than 500 vehicles that cross daily must slow significantly, leading to increased congestion at the complex entrance.

Nippon Dynawave projects a total cost of approximately $52,000 for the project, with BNSF Railway Co. providing $10,000 in labor to install the new roadbed, ties, rail, and concrete crossing panels to replace the failed asphalt.

The company must complete the project by June 15, 2023.

The UTC regulates the rates and services of household goods movers; passenger transportation companies; investor-owned electric, natural gas, garbage, and water utilities; landline telecommunications companies; garbage haulers; commercial ferries; pipeline companies; marine pilotage; and a low-level radioactive waste repository.

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.