Railroad Safety Enhancement

The state announced plans today, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007 to spend millions of dollars making railroad crossings safer across the Commonwealth.

They’re installing gates at 15 crossings in 11 counties, one of them being Grayson County. The state plans to spend close to $200,000 to install gates at a P&L railroad crossing on Kentucky 259.

Officials with the Transportation Department say they’re installing the gates because too many people are dying on railroad crossings.

It’s what happens when a car doesn’t make it across a train track in time and in McCreary County tragedies like this one have happened more than once. Three people died at this crossing three years ago, where the crossing has lights to warn of trains but little else.

So transportation officials say two crossings in McCreary County and 13 others around the state, including two in Mercer County and one in Jessamine, will receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding for safety improvements. All together its part of more than $3 million being spent as part of the governor’s Department of Traffic Safety.

State officials say the $3.4 million is just the start. Fifteen more crossings, including one on Spurr Road in Fayette County where a woman was severely injured when her car was hit by a train, is also slated to get crossbars.

Which crossings receive improvements is based on several factors such as high traffic count, size of rural roads and collisions in those areas.

The installation of the new gates is expected to begin as early as February 2007.

If you would like to know which crossings in Kentucky are getting new gates, click here to see a complete list.