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Published: Wednesday, 7/16/2008

Eastwood hopes to bolster safety at train crossing

Safety concerns at a train crossing in Eastwood might be addressed soon.

The crossing on Dowling Road is dangerous because drivers heading west on Dowling are obstructed from seeing trains coming from the south, said Brent Welker, superintendent of Eastwood Schools.

Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn said the crossing is particularly dangerous.

"It has a big hump and the visibility is very poor. It's probably the roughest crossing in the area. I had several citizens come to me and complain about almost being hit by a train," the sheriff said.

Ray Huber, Wood County engineer, said a building at the crossing makes it difficult to see oncoming trains.

"If you don't hear the horn, you're in trouble," he said.

Sheriff Wasylyshyn said school buses cross the tracks about eight times each weekday.

To address the safety concerns, Sheriff Wasylyshyn, the Wood County commissioners, and Mr. Welker and Mr. Huber, among others, wrote letters to the Ohio Rail Commission asking that lights and gates be installed at the site.

Mr. Huber said a "close call this spring" spurred concerns about safety at the crossing.

Sheriff Wasylyshyn said he was "cautiously optimistic" the district would receive lights and gates for the crossing.

He said the Ohio Rail Commission had "unofficially confirmed" that it will put up lights and gates at no cost to the district and likely will complete the installations in 2009.

Sheriff Wasylyshyn said that he expected to receive official word about intallation in the next few months.

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