Spallumcheen railway crossing requires upgrades

Updating the Otter Lake Cross Road railway warning system has been mandated by a federal agency.

The railway crossing on Otter Lake Cross Road needs some upgrades.

Updating a Spallumcheen railway crossing warning system has been mandated by a federal agency.

CN Rail, through direction from Transport Canada, has advised the township that a crossing at Otter Lake Cross Road has been reviewed, and it’s been noted that the crossing and its road layout, “warrants being upgraded with an appropriate warning system.”

“This is due to their being nearby driveway entrances, along with the geometric constraints in close proximity of the crossing,” wrote Gary Hanson, public works officer for CN Design and Construction.

“By replacing the passive protection of having only railway/road signage forcing all vehicles to stop, an active warning system protection provides more advanced warning to motor vehicles of an approaching train.

“Vehicles will also be provided more adequate warning in advance of reaching the crossing from the other driveway entrances near the crossing,” said Hanson.

The detailed cost estimate for the new warning system, as supplied to the township, is $325,557. The estimate includes labour, engineering and design, power services/utilities and grading and site preparation.

Transport Canada would contribute up to 50 per cent of approved project costs while Spallumcheen would be on the hook for 12.5 per cent ($40,700) and CN would be responsible for the balance.

“Since this is a preliminary estimate which may be further revised, it would be recommended that the township confirms approval for a 10-to-15 per cent contingency,” said Hanson.

The township pays $1,500 per month in rent for all of its railway crossings .

While Councillors Todd York and Christine Fraser questioned the price tag of the system, administrator Corey Paiement said there isn’t anything the township can do but comply.

“In my experience, we have no choice,” said Paiement.

Council voted in favour of  a funding application being prepared and submitted by CN Rail to Transport Canada for the installation of an active signalized warning system for the Otter Lake Cross Road crossing.

The motion also has council approving the 12.5 per cent share of project costs up to a maximum of $47,000.

CN will invoice the township before March 31, 2019.


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