Improvements for Warren, Michigan, Grade Crossing Accelerated

COMPANY PRESS RELEASE: Michigan Department of Transportation has asked Conrail to accelerate its construction schedule. When the state authorized the project last summer, Conrail was given the standard 18 months to complete the project.

Conrail said meeting the March 15 target will depend upon favorable weather conditions for the installation of the cables and electronic track circuitry are required to control the new warning devices at the crossing. Conrail's engineering staff is supervising the circuit design work and materials have been ordered. The control equipment will be wired at Conrail's Communi- cations & Signals Shop in Columbus, Ohio, then delivered to Warren for installation on-site.

The project involves upgrading the current motion sensor- controlled system with the addition of gates and the replacing of stanchion flashing lights with cantilevered flashing lights. The crossing will continue to have bells sounding an audible warning.

The project was authorized by Michigan DOT through a federal- state cooperative funding program for safety improvements at grade crossings. Under the program, a state directs railroads to improve crossings according to priorities established by the state. Direct design, material and construction costs for improvements are paid for by a combination of federal, state and/or local road authorities. In addition to supervising and executing the design, engineering and installation work, the railroad funds continuing maintenance of the safety devices. Conrail spends about $20 million annually on the routine testing and maintenance of existing devices.