Poteau, OK: Crossing where four killed already slated for upgrade

9 Sep

The level crossing of Poteau’s Dewey Avenue where a mother and three of her children were killed and a fourth child seriously injured had already been slated for improvement. The need to upgrade the level crossing with the addition of barriers and a dedicated pedestrian walkway at the active open crossing was identified in 2011. Next, the upgrade was included in Oklahoma’s bid for federal funding from the TIGER programme for transport infrastructure improvements.

Oklahoma’s Transportation Commission approved the upgrade with an estimated cost of USD0.313 million at its August 2016 board meeting on the basis of the state contributing some USD266,000 and USD15,000 from FHWA’s federal budget. The remaining USD31,000 to come from the City of Poteau has yet to be authorised and is due to be considered by the city fathers later this month. Previously, the City of Poteau has determined that it didn’t have the budget for its share of the upgrade funding.

The City of Poteau Police Department has confirmed that when the emergency services arrived at the crossing of the Kansas City Southern right of way, the lights and audible alarm were still operating.

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