Eighteen railroad crossings in the 55th Senate District are slated for safety improvements as part of the Illinois Commerce Commission’s Crossing Safety Improvement Program for Fiscal Years 2017-2021.
State Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) says the projects include automatic flashing light signals and gates, reconstructing approaches, or installing concrete slabs in Clark, Coles, Crawford, Effingham, Jasper, Lawrence, Wabash, Wayne, or White counties.
“My district is a major rail corridor with dozens of freight trains and passenger trains operating on a daily basis,” said Righter (R-Mattoon). “With so many trains, it’s imperative we are constantly improving our crossings and ensuring safety is a top priority. These improvements will go far in warning people about oncoming trains, which could ultimately save lives.”
According to the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), they order safety improvements at public highway-rail crossings with the cost of such improvements paid by the state, the railroads, and local governments. On state roads, the Illinois Department of Transportation pays the majority of the costs through the State Road Fund. For local roads, the Grade Crossing Protection Fund was created to pay the majority of the costs of improvements.
Here is a detailed list (also attached) of the ICC’s Crossing Safety Improvement Program across the 55th Senate District.
*Note: DOT# 546352R in Martinsville is in Clark County, not Clinton County
According to the ICC:
· Nationally, Illinois is second only to Texas in the total number of highway-rail crossings.
· In 2015, preliminary statistics indicate there were 118 collisions at public crossings in Illinois, compared to 113 in 2014, an increase of 4.4 percent. National preliminary figures for 2015 indicate 1,849 collisions occurred, compared to 1,968 in 2014, which is a 6.0% decease.
· Total fatalities resulting from collisions at highway-rail crossings in Illinois increased from 22 in 2014 to 31 in 2015.
· In 2015, 26.3% (31 out of 118) of all collisions involved cars driving into the sides of trains, a percentage which has remained fairly constant over the years.