Safety Upgrades Announced for State Street Rail Crossing

By Jeremy Coumbes on November 5, 2022 at 12:12pm

Upgrades are coming to a major railroad crossing in Jacksonville.

The Illinois Commerce Commission announced Friday the approval of a Stipulated Agreement for improving public safety at the East State Street highway-rail grade crossing of the BNSF Railway Company track in Jacksonville.

The ICC says the Stipulated Agreement requires the installation of new automatic flashing lights signals and gates, pedestrian gates, and bells, as well as improvements to the roadway approach grade, and roadway reconfiguration at the crossing.

Officials say the total estimated cost for the new automatic warning devices at the crossing is $527,660. ICC staff has recommended that 95% of the costs should be paid by the Grade Crossing Protection Fund (GCPF), not to exceed $520,277.

BNSF will pay all of the remaining signal design and installation costs, and all future operating and maintenance costs for the new automatic warning devices.

The City of Jacksonville has estimated the cost to improve the roadway approach grades and reconfigure curb lines at $311,250.

ICC officials say they consider that portion of the project important enough to recommend that the GCPF be used to pay 100% of the roadway approach grade rehabilitation costs, but not to exceed the city’s estimate.

ICC Commissioner Michael T. Carrigan said in the announcement, “Keeping pedestrians, motorists, and rail employee safe near and around railroad tracks is a top priority for the ICC. “

The project is expected to be completed within 18 months of the order date, which has not been announced as of yet.