CHICAGO - The Illinois Commerce Commission approved its annual five-year Crossing Safety Improvement Program (FY 2025-2029) to implement life-saving safety upgrades at highway-rail crossings across Illinois. Over $410 million from the Grade Crossing Protection Fund (GCPF) and Rebuild Illinois (RBI) will help local communities and railroads pay for much-needed safety improvements at 1,310 crossing locations.

Get The Latest News!

Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.

“Illinois is one of America’s largest rail transportation hubs, but there’s an inherent risk of crashes where highways and railroad tracks intersect. Greenlighting the use of the Grade Crossing Protection Fund is essential for keeping pedestrians and motorists safe at Illinois crossings,” said ICC Chairman Doug Scott.

In 2023, preliminary statistics indicate there were 90 collisions at public highway rail crossings in Illinois, compared to 123 in 2022, a 26.8 percent decrease. Total fatalities resulting from collisions at highway-rail crossings in Illinois decreased from 28 in 2022 to 18 in 2023, a decrease of 35.7 percent.

State funding from the GCPF and RBI, paired with federal funds, provides Illinois communities the ability to address longstanding safety concerns and higher project costs. The five-year plan proposes GCPF dollars to help cover 22 highway-rail bridge projects, six pedestrian-rail bridge projects, 1,261 grade crossing improvement projects, and 11 low-cost emergency or experimental improvements at over 1,300 crossing locations. Among the projects are upgrades to lighting, gates, and automatic warning devices including remote monitors, grade separation construction and reconstruction, installation of pedestrian gates, and the separation of pedestrian crossings from rail tracks. This funding also helps the state to meet the continued demand for roadway and pedestrian bridges and upgraded warning devices.

“Dollars from the Grade Crossing Protection Fund will help railroads and communities across Illinois offset the cost of infrastructure upgrades required to keep the public safe. The ICC’s Crossing Safety Improvement Plan has a critical role to play in bringing these projects to fruition,” said ICC Commissioner Michael T. Carrigan.

Article continues after sponsor message

The ICC prioritizes projects based on several factors including, safety of the existing crossing, collision history, traffic volume, engineering requirements, and geographical location. The ICC also promotes “The Three E’s” of railroad safety: Education through Operation Lifesaver Illinois; Enforcement of existing laws to ensure motorists and pedestrians obey all railroad safety laws; and the Engineering necessary to make crossings as physically and operationally safe as possible.

View the full list of CSIP projects here and an interactive map of projects included in the current five-year plan, as well as past programs and crossing inventory here.

About the Illinois Commerce Commission

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) is a quasi-judicial body made up of five Commissioners. Through its Public Utility Program, the Commission oversees the provision of adequate, reliable, efficient, and safe utility services at the least possible cost to Illinois citizens served by electric, natural gas, telecommunications, water, and sewer public utility companies. Through its Transportation Regulatory Program, the Commission oversees public safety and consumer protection programs with regard to intrastate commercial motor carriers of general freight, household goods movers, relocation towers, safety towers, personal property warehouses and repossession agencies. The Commission’s Rail Safety Program also inspects and regulates the general safety of railroad tracks, facilities, and equipment in the state.

To learn more about the Commission, its offices, and bureaus, click here. If you are a consumer who needs help resolving a utility dispute call 800-524-0795 or file an online complaint here. For a complaint related to transportation, call 217-782-6448.

Follow the Illinois Commerce Commission on social media @ILCommerceComm.

More like this:

Sep 18, 2023 - Gov. JB Pritzker Proclaims September 18-24, 2023, Rail Safety Week in Illinois

Feb 9, 2024 - CUB Issues Statement About Illinois American Water Hike Rate Proposal

Nov 18, 2023 - ICC Issues a Decision on Ameren Gas’ Request for a General Rate Increase

May 4, 2024 - Rebuilding Metro East: Interstate Projects Highlight Another Historic Construction Season

Apr 3, 2024 - ‘Bike Bus’ Returns This May, Expanding To Five Schools To Encourage Bike Riding