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Flashing lights at railway intersection could prove costly

by Mike Robinson

ABERFOYLE - It’s uncertain if they will be a green light to install flashers at the railway crossing on Hume Road in Puslinch.

Although it has been suggested before, the idea came up again at a recent community forum where people heard the idea was proposed in 2008.

At that time, Tom Sagaskie of the Guelph Junction Railway indicated the crossing did not warrant flashing lights.

But suggestions which were made at the recent forum recommended the idea be included in the town’s road review to determine how to proceed.

Concerns were voiced over railway crossings on Watson and Arkell Roads as well because of increased vehicle and train traffic.

The most recent response from Sagaskie on Sept. 29 outlined what would need to be done, and the potential costs that could be incurred.

He stated the best approach would be to conduct a road and railway safety assessment as outlined in Transport Canada’s guide for crossing standards.

Such an assessment would be undertaken jointly by rail and road authorities.

He noted it involved survey work to establish sight lines and determine any visual obstructions.

He estimated that work alone would be roughly $10,000, with the cost to be shared between the railway and the township. Also required would be daily traffic counts along with accident histories to determine if changes are needed.

If warranted, there would need to be negotiations for cost sharing.

Sagaskie indicated guide flashers will cost roughly $135,000 per crossing, while installing gates would run about $225,000.

He said while a federal fund does exist, there is a multi-year backlog with funds generally directed to high speed areas with a history of accidents.

Council held little in the way of discussion regarding the information presented, but the matter was discussed more thoroughly at its Oct. 19 session.


October 21, 2011


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