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New Indiana Law Gives $10M To Improve Railroad Intersections

indiana railroad train

Photo: David Wilson (Flickr)

State Rep. Ed Soliday said he expects to see road repairs take priority before work on the railroad intersections begins.

Indiana’s most dangerous rail crossings could soon receive safety upgrades thanks to a new law which provides $10 million to improve crash-prone rail intersections.

The infrastructure funding legislation enacted last week by Gov. Eric Holcomb requires the Indiana Department of Transportation to develop a way to measure which rail crossing needs to be fixed first.

Republican state Rep. Ed Soliday of Valparaiso says it’s obvious where the work is needed most.

“The majority of heavy congestion, at-risk crossings are in Northwest Indiana,” Soliday said.

Indiana is ranked nearly worst in the nation for most rail crossing fatalities.

“This is just the beginning of dealing with our at-grade crossing issues,” Soliday said.

The law will also raise fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees to pay for road and bridge construction. Soliday said he expects to see road repairs take priority before work on the railroad intersections begins.

Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman Will Wingfield said the department will identify construction projects over the coming months.

The transportation agency is soliciting applications from local governments for state matching funds to support local road construction projects.

A provision of the law allows municipalities that share jurisdiction over a road or bridge to combine their requests in an effort to secure a larger grant.

Soliday said since northwest Indiana communities generally run into each other, this option could bring more state money for local projects if cities, towns and counties choose to work together.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

  • Michael Weber

    there is no cure for stupidity.

    in my experience, the close calls i’ve witnessed at grade crossings are completely due to a conscious decision by the motor vehicle operator to try to beat a train.

    adding gates to a crossing with lights will not stop someone intent on driving around them.

    adding lights to a crossing with only crossbucks will not deter a driver who is impatient.

    i see drivers step on the gas as soon as the lights activate. i see drivers who pull up and stop at a crossing go on to make a decision to cross when a train is clearly visible.

    the part of my brain that thinks we should let these drivers weed themselves out of the gene pool is slapped by the image of their kids in the back seat. these idiots should be flayed for exposing their passengers to this danger, but instead the kids are only learning that it’s an acceptable behavior.

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