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Safety improvements planned for railroad crossing

July 14, 2009

The Soo Line Railroad will make safety improvements to the Wauwatosa crossing that has seen nine train-vehicle accidents since 1973.

The intersection at 68th and State streets will be reconstructed with wider lanes, more space between the tracks and sidewalks and a right-turn lane to improve traffic flow and reduce the likelihood that a vehicle would get trapped on the tracks, according to the Wisconsin Commissioner of Railroads Office.

The project also calls for adding signals that will give earlier warnings of approaching trains and gates with lowering arms to prevent vehicles from entering the crossing. Brighter lights will also be added.

Wauwatosa expects to see about a dozen more trains come through per day at a higher rate of speed due to proposed high-speed passenger trains.

Soo Line will pay 80 percent of the reconstruction cost and Wauwatosa will pick up 20 percent.

The project is expected to be finished in late November.

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