UTC approves rail safety upgrades in Yakima County

Media Contact: (360) 664-1116 or media@utc.wa.gov
Docket Numbers: TR-230847, TR-230848, TR-230849, TR-230850, TR-230851, TR-230852, TR-230853, TR-230854, TR-230855

LACEY, Wash. - State regulators approved over $72,000 in grant funding for safety upgrades at nine public railroad crossings in southwest Yakima County.

The Utilities and Transportation Commission approved nine Grade Crossing Protective Fund (GCPF) grants to replace aging crossing signal batteries and battery chargers in  Yakima County between Toppenish and White Swan. Affected crossings include:  

  • State Route 97
  • Wesley Road
  • South Wapato Road
  • Signal Peak Road
  • Curtis Street
  • West White Swan Road
  • Barkes Road
  • Brownstown Road
  • Lateral A Road

The new crossing signal batteries and battery chargers will improve the reliability of the signals, thereby improving safety for crossing users.  

In 1969, the Legislature created the GCPF program to provide funding 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 rail crossings and closing or altering existing crossings, investigating train accidents, inspecting railroad crossings, approving safety projects, and promoting rail safety education through Operation Lifesaver.