State grants $60,000 to improve rail crossings

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The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission has approved Grade Crossing Protective Fund grants for two communities following requests from Clark County and the City of Battle Ground.

Two crossings in Vancouver, one on Northwest Fruit Valley Road and one on Northeast St. Johns Road, will receive $20,000 each to help fund replacement of current track, structure and asphalt surface, along with new mainline rail, hardwood crossties and concrete surface panels.

A third crossing at East Main Street in Battle Ground will receive $20,000 for similar improvements.

The projects are largely funded by Freight Rail Assistance Program grants from the state Department of Transportation, with some funding contributed by the Chelatchie Prairie Railroad, owned by the county. The commission also released $250 to replace signs at the Main Street crossing in Battle Ground.