DelDOT Repairing Record Number of Railroad Crossings - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

DelDOT Repairing Record Number of Railroad Crossings

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DOVER, Del. - Railroad crossings in Delaware are getting a makeover.  DelDOT workers are expected to make repairs to 42 crossings this year. It's a project that's been years in the making.

"We've been trying to get them done for a long time," said DelDOT railroad program manager Bob Perrine.

Perrine says it's a big project that's never been done before. There are 362 crossing in the state. On average, DelDOT repairs about eight railroad crossings per year.
 
"In the past 10 years we've done less with those crossings then we would have liked. It's very difficult to get with the railroad and partner to get these accomplished," said Perrine.

Repairs to 25 crossings are now complete. Seventeen remain on the schedule.

Perrine says the repairs are not to improve safety, but ride quality.

"This is more of a quality of experience with that car on the tracks. The smoother the crossing is the longer the crossing lives. Wood in contact with the ground only lives so long. As they start to deteriorate, the pavement starts to deteriorate then the quality of that crossing deteriorate," said Perrine.

Over the past ten years, Delaware has had an average of 5.8 grade crossing collisions per year.

Although the number of crashes have leveled off, DelDOT continues to work with the federal government to receive funding for further safety improvements.

"We get about $1 million a year just to address safety. From the state side we get about the same, $1 million a year. We have about $2 million to spend on our program," said Perrine.
     
Route 404 in Sussex County and the crossing at Route 113 in Milford are next on the repair schedule.

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