Illinois will spend nearly $200 million in the next five years to help make railroad crossings safer, including a crossing in Wedron that was featured in an April 2017 Times article.
The $490,000 plan calls for installing a new surface, new gates and modification of flashing light signals sometime this year at East 2153rd Road.
The crossing consists of four sets of tracks. The main ones are owned by Illinois Railway, the other three belong to Wedron Silica, which runs the sand processing plant that has a conveyor belt over the tracks.
Even though 2153rd Road is county-owned, the county has no jurisdiction of the crossing.
The roadway consists of missing pavement and exposed old rebar.
The Illinois Commerce Commission's plan released Monday provides money for safety improvements at more than 700 crossing locations, including others in Streator and Troy Grove.
A $280,000 installation of automatic flashing lights and gates at Cross Street in Streator is among the plans for 2019, according to the ICC's report. A similar project is proposed for Vermillion Street in Troy Grove.
Three other projects are planned for Troy Grove. Plans are to close a crossing at North 3809th Road in 2018 and close a public crossing at East Ninth Road, and construct an access road sometime between 2021 and 2023. Plans also call for the installation of automatic flashing lights and gates at North 39th Road and North 41st Road.
Among the larger projects statewide is $9 million to help Champaign County build a new bridge to carry Curtis Road over the Illinois Central Railroad's track in Savoy. The city of Elmhurst will get $2 million for a new pedestrian grade separation of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks near York Road.
The ICC says preliminary statistics show there were 26 fatalities from collisions at highway-rail crossings last year. That's up from 20 in 2016. The number of collisions dropped from 100 in 2016 to 86 last year.