Railroad crossing improvements

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) works with freight and passenger railroads and other businesses on initiatives that preserve rail service, improve the efficiency of railroad operations, and enhance economic development.

A separate state agency, the Office of the Commissioner of Railroads (OCR), enforces regulations related to railway safety and investigates the safety of highway/rail crossings. In partnership with private rail firms, local governments and citizens, OCR oversees a variety of highway/rail crossing issues including:

  • Replacement or enhancement of passive and active warning devices at highway/rail crossings
  • Repair of rough highway/rail crossing surfaces
  • Installation of highway/rail crossings at new locations
  • Alteration of existing highway/rail crossings
  • Closing or consolidating existing highway/rail crossings.

Wisconsin Highway-Rail Grade Crossing State Action Plan (SAP)

WisDOT is developing the Wisconsin Highway-Rail Grade Crossing State Action Plan (SAP) in accordance with Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) State Highway - Rail Grade Crossing Safety Guidance. State highway-rail grade crossing action plans provide an opportunity to conduct a systematic review of state grade crossings from the standpoint of safety risks, prioritizing needs, identifying specific solutions for improving safety, and developing strategic actions to improve crossing safety.

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Scope of Work

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), with assistance from the SRF Consulting Group team, will produce an FRA-compliant grade crossing plan.

Timeline

  • October – December 2021: Public engagement
  • January 2022: Finalize plan

Contacts

Justin Scott
Consultant Project Manager
jscott@srfconsulting.com

Kris Sommers
Supervisor - Railroad Engineering and Safety
WisDOT Railroads and Harbors Section
(608) 266-3341
kristen.sommers@dot.wi.gov

Statutory references:

  • Chapter 86: Miscellaneous highway provisions including highway/railroad grade crossings (86.11, 86.12, 86.13, 86.135)
  • Chapter 189: Office of the Commissioner of Railroads, powers and duties
  • Chapter 190: Railroads, organization and management including powers of railroads and railroad consolidation; sale or lease of property
  • Chapter 191: Railroads, construction, including railroad extensions
  • Chapter 192: Railroads, regulations and liabilities including railroad train crews, and trespassing on railroads
  • Chapter 195: Railroad regulation, including protecting grade crossings, advance warning signs, rail crossing warning devices (195.28), and new and altered rail crossings (195.29)