Special to 1808Delaware
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) has approved a joint petition of CSX Transportation (CSXT) and Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NSRC) to close the Franklin Street grade crossings in Orange Township, Delaware County, Ohio.
The closure will primarily route traffic to alternate crossings that have active gates and warning light systems on Lewis Center Road, which is located 325 feet to the north of the impacted crossing.
In its opinion & order, the Commission determined that local emergency service response times will not be significantly impacted by the closing. On average, the impacted crossing was used by 64 vehicles per day.
The Commission noted the Franklin Street crossing as being ranked the 39th most hazardous crossing in the state. Based on these factors, the Commission determined there is not a demonstrable need for the Franklin Street crossing to remain open.
Delaware County will issue an ordinance discontinuing the use of the crossing to all vehicular and pedestrian traffic by December 30.
The PUCO is responsible for evaluating Ohio’s public grade crossings to determine the need for installing active warning devices. Since the PUCO began implementing these evaluations, the annual number of train-motor vehicle crashes in Ohio has decreased significantly, from 356 in 1990 to 53 in 2021.
The Ohio Rail Hotline, at (866) 814-RAIL (7245), provides Ohioans with a toll-free resource for all railroad crossing questions. For more information regarding these crossings, access the Ohio railroad information system website at gradecrossings.puco.ohio.gov.
A copy of today’s Commission opinion and order is available on the PUCO website at www.PUCO.ohio.gov by clicking on the link to “Docketing Information System” and searching for case 19-180-RR-UNC.