Deficient safeguards spur closure of train crossing near 35th Avenue/Indian School

PHOENIX - The Arizona Corporation Commission is ordering the closure of a Phoenix railroad crossing that federal transportation officials have branded one of the most dangerous in the U.S.

The commission said Wednesday it unanimously called for BNSF Railway Company to close the crossing at 35th Avenue and Indian School Road unless an agreement on safety adjustments is reached before May 19.

Commissioners say city, state and rail officials failed to follow through on improvements proposed back in 2013.

The improvements were to include the installation of signal fixtures south of the crossing.

New signals have only been installed on the north side. The commission says this has created confusion and danger.

The Federal Railroad Administration in 2016 said the crossing had one of the highest incident rates over the last decade. It's among five Arizona sites included on an FRA list of 15 most dangerous crossings nationally.

The 15 crossings had multiple collisions involving trains, automobiles and pedestrians, and the commission says the 35th Avenue crossing had 25 incidents resulting in nine injuries since 2006.

The five Arizona crossings are along Grand Avenue in metro Phoenix.

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