What's News in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
Lighted Gate Requested
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VILLAGE REQUESTING LIGHTED GATE AT HIGHWAY H RAIL CROSSING
VILLAGE AND COUNTY ALSO WORKING ON EXTRA LIGHTING
Over a two-week period in late June and early July, two car versus train accidents occurred in Pleasant Prairie at the same rail crossing. The crossing (shown at right) is just south of the lighted, gated Canadian Pacific crossing on County Highway H, south of 95th Street. Both accidents involved vehicles striking stationary train cars that were stopped on the rail spur while the Canadian Pacific Railroad performed a car change-out with a local chemical company.
In 1993, officials requested lighted gates at the crossing, but that request was denied. In 2011, Pleasant Prairie petitioned the Office of the Commissioner of Railroads for safety improvements at the crossing. Following the first of the two recent accidents, Pleasant Prairie has asked the Commissioner of Railroads to review the request again.
The Office of the Commissioner of Railroads is the independent regulatory agency that oversees railroads in Wisconsin. State railroad officials plan to hold a hearing later this summer to discuss a larger plan for this stretch of 88th Avenue, including the installation of a bike path adjacent to County Highway H that would cross the same tracks. It is uncertain whether the Commissioner of Railroads will find that the benefit of installing a lighted gate at this location will outweigh the cost.
As a short-term improvement, the Village of Pleasant Prairie and Kenosha County will work cooperatively to install street lighting in an attempt to illuminate the crossing at dark. The lighting is expected to be installed yet this summer.