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The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio last week approved construction authorization from the Ohio Rail Development Commission directing the replacement of existing grade crossing gates and mast-mounted flashing lights with new mechanisms and the interconnection of highway signals with rail warning devices.CSX Transportation will perform the work at the Campbell Road/County Road 101 crossing near Marion. The upgrade must be completed no later than Oct. 28 and will be covered by federal funds.Meanwhile, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) approved a $19,992 Grade Crossing Protective Fund (GCPF) grant at the request of the city of Wenatchee for the second part of a three-phase project to construct a safety fence along 1,920 feet of railroad track between the Columbia River, Apple Capital Recreational Loop Trail and BNSF Railway Co. line in southeast Wenatchee. Work must be completed by June 15. The fence will increase public safety by deterring pedestrians from trespassing onto the railroad right of way, UTC officials said in a press release. The UTC also approved a nearly $1,000 GCPF grant at the request of Simpson Lumber to install advance warning and emergency notification signs (ENS) at 14 crossings in Mason County.ENS signs include the railroad's name, an emergency phone number and a unique number assigned to each crossing by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Federal Railroad Administration requires that ENS signs be installed at all crossings by Sept. 1.The work must be completed by April 30. Simpson Lumber will provide the labor to install the signs.
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