Calcasieu Parish hoping for railroad crossing upgrades - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Calcasieu Parish hoping for railroad crossing upgrades

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It's a priority list that state engineers ask for every year as part of a funding process. It helps local governments across the state to upgrade railroad crossings.

"If they qualify, they would get either flashing lights or gates depending on what they deemed appropriate," said Calcasieu Parish Traffic Engineer Cliff Brouhard.

Brouhard said the flashing lights and gates seen at many railroad crossings are not required by the federal government. And the nearly 30 crossings submitted to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development do not have those warnings.

"Most of them are in the more industrial areas, they're on dead end roads or they don't have a lot of train traffic. So, and we have, fortunately, we have very few accidents in the parish with trains," Brouhard said.

Up to 28 trains travel on lines throughout the parish everyday. Of course, that's not as much traffic compared to other systems in the state, but Brouhard said he hopes DOTD sees some of Calcasieu's crossings as a priority.

"I'd love to seem them all have gates. Well, except for the ones that haven't had any train traffic on them for years and that would be kind of a waste of money, but I think any additional precaution would be good," Brouhard said.

Signal devices like that would cost between $200,000 to $250,000. This money would be federal grant money through the Highway Safety Funding Program.

These warnings will help make those on the road and the rails safer. 

The request for upgrades will go to DOTD.

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