JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - In Jonesboro, there are 44 at-grade railway crossings, of those, 14 have had a history of accidents due to the lack of safety signals.
At-grade means the railroad tracks are on the same level as the roadway.
Henson Road is an example of one of those crossings where nearly 1,400 vehicles cross its railway every day.
Now, the City of Jonesboro is working to improve those 14 locations.
The city partnered with two major railroad companies and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department after a study showed what was needed to enhance the safety at each location.
Jonesboro is spending $30,000 of federal safety funds to install signs, stripping, new and brighter LED lights and other improvements to the railways.
City Engineer Mark Nichols said the sooner the improvements are made, the better.
"There are tens of thousands crossings every day in the city as far as the vehicles, so it is a high priority for the city of Jonesboro to increase the safety of those railroad crossings," said Nichols.
In addition to the railroad crossing updates, the city is also in the process of adding railroad overpasses, which is a long-term goal.
One of the overpasses will be at the crossing on Highway 18 and one at the crossing on Airport Road.
Nichols said he expects all of the crossing upgrades to be done by the beginning of next year.
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