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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has announced millions of dollars to help communities eliminate dangerous railroad crossings.

According to a release by the governor’s office, Ohio has approximately 5,600 railroad grade crossings where roadways intersect with railroad tracks.

In late 2019, the Federal Railroad Administration began collecting blocked crossing data. Since then, more than 10,500 reports of blocked crossings in Ohio have been filed.

“Railroad grade crossings are both a safety hazard and a barrier to traffic, including emergency vehicles,” said the release.

DeWine’s new Ohio Rail Crossing Elimination Program will help support communities as they engineer projects to eliminate these crossings. The program will also pay matching funds that are required for additional support from the Federal Railroad Administration, according to the release.

“To compete for federal grants, communities need the resources to develop the projects, prepare federal applications, and commit matching funds to make Ohio’s grant applications competitive,” said DeWine.

“Railroad grade projects can be complex and expensive, and without state assistance, most communities do not have the resources to develop them. This program will provide support to get these projects moving in the right direction.” 

Municipalities can submit railroad crossing elimination projects to the Ohio Rail Development Commission.

For more information about the program, click here.