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Improvements ordered for Oliver railroad crossings

Three railroad crossings in Oliver are slated for improvements after the Office of Commissioner of Railroads issued orders this week.

Wisconsin Central Ltd., and the village each have a role to play in making the improvements to call attention to the rail crossings at Minneapolis, Mitchell and Grand avenues.

WCL was ordered to install retro-reflective back-to-back crossbucks and stop signs with 2-inch-wide reflective stripes on the front and back at each of the crossings by June 30.

Further measures were not recommended because a cost-benefit analysis revealed little benefit from expenses that could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

No car-train crashes have been reported at any of the crossings since 1973, the order stated.

The railroad was also ordered to update the U.S. Department of Transportation inventory form concerning the crossing on Broadway Avenue.

"The roadway appears to have been vacated approximately 200 feet north of the tracks and the crossing surface has been removed from the roadway," the order found.

The village was ordered to install and maintain advance warning signs in accordance with the Wisconsin Manual on Uniform Traffic Devices on all three of the avenues, and clear brush and trim trees within the road right of way for 330 feet in each direction from the Mitchell Avenue crossing by April 15.

The village, railroad or interested parties have 20 days to object to the ruling.

A separate evaluation for Douglas County's Highway W determined the county needs to clear trees and brush for 330 feet from the center of the highway crossing to allow a clear view of oncoming trains, according to a letter to Highway Commissioner Jason Jackman.

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