Feb. 16, 2011
Docket number: TR-110262
OLYMPIA, Wash. – State regulators today approved funding to improve the safety at a railroad crossing in Whitman County.
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) approved $15,363 from the Grade Crossing Protective Fund (GCPF) for the city of Oakesdale to upgrade warning signals at the crossing located at the intersection of State Route 27 and First Street (SR-27).
The Washington and Idaho Railway, Inc. plans to use the funds to replace incandescent flashing lights with LED lights at the rail crossing. The railroad also proposes to improve safety at the crossing by installing in new shoulder-mounted signals with LED lights and upgrading the train detection to provide constant warning.
Oakesdale is between Spokane and Pullman in Whitman County. SR-27 is a two-lane road with an average of 1,100 cars, buses and trucks crossing the railroad tracks each day. The upgrades must be completed by June 15. State GCPF funding is limited to $15,363.
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.
Staff contact: Marilyn Meehan