3C “Quick Start” Passenger Rail Update:
Proposed Passenger Rail Plan includes
Major Safety Upgrades for Motorists too
At least $32 million targeted at 270 locations across the state
COLUMBUS (Monday, December 14, 2009) - As Ohio awaits a decision in Washington on federal stimulus funding for the 3C “Quick Start” Passenger Rail Plan, the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) have proposed designating at least $32 million on major safety upgrades that will help the state’s motorists as well as the trains.
As part of the state’s application for $564 million in stimulus funds, ODOT and ORDC have targeted 270 public grade crossings for major safety upgrades along the 250-mile rail corridor.
“Safety is always our top priority,” said ODOT Director Jolene M. Molitoris, who noted that between 2004 -2008 there have been more than 550 crashes at locations where roadways and train tracks intersect.
While the number of highway-railroad collisions and fatalities in Ohio has decreased over the past decade, 13 people were killed and 30 were injured in 2008, according to Operation Lifesaver, a nationwide, non-profit public information program dedicated to reducing collisions, injuries and fatalities at highway-rail crossings.
If Ohio receives the federal stimulus funding, the state intends to invest the $32 million in crossing upgrades, which could include active warning devices and lighting systems, gate improvements and installation of median barriers to enhance overall safety for motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists.
ODOT and ORDC are aggressively pursuing $564 million in federal stimulus funding for the 3C “Quick Start” Passenger Rail Plan - connecting Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati with 79 mph passenger trains. The federal stimulus funds could be awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation as early as the first quarter of 2010.
For more information, contact Scott Varner, ODOT Communications, at (614) 644-8640
or Stu Nicholson, Ohio Rail Development Commission, at (614) 644-0513.
For more information on the 3C “Quick Start” Passenger Rail Plan, visit: http://3Cisme.ohio.gov