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State approves funds to improve rail safety in Eastern Washington
Sept. 24, 2010
Docket number: TR-101525
OLYMPIA, Wash. – State regulators today approved funding to improve the safety of 13 railroad crossings in four Eastern Washington counties.
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) approved $20,000 from the state Grade Crossing Protective Fund (GCPF) for Union Pacific Railroad to upgrade warning devices at 13 crossings located in Walla Walla, Adams, Lincoln and Spokane counties.
The project includes upgrading outdated incandescent flashing lights with LED lights. The LED lights will provide greater visibility of the active warnings lights to pedestrians and motorists of an approaching train.
The upgrades must be completed by June 15, 2011. State funding from the GCPF will not exceed $20,000. Labor costs for the installation of upgrades will be covered by Union Pacific Railroad.
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.
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