State regulators on Thursday approved $30,398 in grant funding for safety upgrades at a railroad crossing in Auburn.
The Utilities and Transportation Commission approved the Grade Crossing Protective Fund grants for a crossing in Auburn, at the request of the City.
The city requested the grant funds to implement safety improvements at the C Street SW crossing:
• $25,200 to install median barriers, and
• $5,198.65 to install additional street lighting.
The barriers will improve the overall safety at the crossing by preventing motorists from driving around trains entering or occupying the crossing. The installation of additional lighting will improve the illumination and visibility of the crossing.
Since 2014, there have been multiple accidents and near-miss incidents at this crossing due to motorists attempting to drive around trains while they travel through the crossing.
An average of 14,800 vehicles use the crossing daily, including commercial vehicles. More than 200 buses use this crossing on a typical weekday.
Currently, two freight trains traveling 10 miles per hour use the crossing several times a week.
The upgrades must be completed Aug. 31. Each project is estimated to cost the amount specified in its grant. The city of Auburn will cover any additional costs, including labor, associated with the upgrades.
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.