- Associated Press - Monday, March 26, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois will spend nearly $200 million over the next five years to help local communities and railroads make railroad crossings safer.

The Illinois Commerce Commission on Monday released a five-year plan that provides money for safety improvements at more than 700 crossing locations.

Among the projects is $9 million to help Champaign County build a new bridge to carry Curtis Road over the Illinois Central Railroad’s track in Savoy. The city of Elmhurst will get $2 million for a new pedestrian grade separation of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks near York Road.

The ICC says preliminary statistics show there were 26 fatalities from collisions at highway-rail crossings last year. That’s up from 20 in 2016. The number of collisions dropped from 100 in 2016 to 86 last year.

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