WARREN -- CSX Transportation's Pine Avenue rail crossing by WCI Steel Inc. will be upgraded by this time next year.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has approved construction authorization from the Ohio Rail Development Commission. This directs CSX Transportation to replace the signals at the highway-rail grade crossing.
There are two gates, two mast-mounted lights and two crossbucks at the crossing, where trains come in and out of the steel mill. The Rail Development Commission estimates six trains a day use the crossing.
CSX must submit site plans and cost estimates for the project to the PUCO by Oct. 13. Federal dollars will pay for the upgrade.
CSX will be responsible for completing the upgrade by July 13, 2006.
In 2004, the PUCO ordered railroad companies serving Ohio to perform safety upgrades at 103 crossings throughout the state.
Since 2000, the number of crashes at highway-rail grade crossings is down 18 percent. In 2004, the injuries resulting from accidents were down 27 percent from the previous year.
The Ohio Rail Hotline, at (866) 814-RAIL (7245), provides Ohioans with a toll-free resource for all railroad crossing questions. For more information, access the railroad industry section of the PUCO Web site at www.PUCO.ohio.gov.