Safety upgrades approved for six eastern Washington railroad crossings

Two Oroville crossings included in improvements

OLYMPIA – State regulators today approved nearly $12,000 in grant funding for the Cascade and Columbia River Railroad to improve six rail crossings in Chelan and Okanogan Counties.

The Utilities and Transportation Commission approved the Grade Crossing Protective Fund (GCPF) grants to add LED warning lights, crossbuck sign replacements and new crossing arms at six crossings.

The grants, which range between $1,600 and $2,500, will be used at the following crossings:

  • Eastside Oroville Road (north);
  • Eastside Oroville Road (south);
  • A Street, Chelan Falls;
  • Azwell Road;
  • Rocky Reach Dam Road and
  • Seventh Street.

The upgrades will improve the overall safety at the crossings by providing greater signal reliability and visibility for drivers and pedestrians.

The upgrades must be completed by Dec. 31, 2020. The railroad will cover any costs over the approved grant amounts including labor associated with the upgrades.

The 1969 Legislature created the GCPF to provide money for safety measures to reduce accidents and fatalities at public and private crossings and along railroad tracks.

The UTC regulates railroad safety, including approving new grade crossings and closing or altering existing rail crossings, investigating train accidents, inspecting public railroad crossings, approving safety projects, and managing safety education through Operation Lifesaver.