Oklahoma’s multi-year railroad crossing safety projects finished

By: - October 4, 2023 5:28 am

BNSF train cars sit on tracks just east of Interstate 235. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has completed a multi-million dollar project to enhance crossing safety. (Mindy Ragan Wood/Oklahoma Voice)

OKLAHOMA CITY — State officials have completed a multi-million dollar effort to improve railroad crossing safety. 

Oklahoma Department of Transportation officials said 204 crossing improvements have been made since the initiative was first unveiled in 2014. 

ODOT records show crossing rehabilitation projects were made in nearly 50 counties. Crossings were improved throughout the state, with nearly 60 repaired in Oklahoma and Tulsa counties and 20 in Grady County. 

Rail crossing safety map


The project, which impacted nearly 300 streets and highways, was mainly funded using the proceeds of the agency’s $75 million sale of the Sooner Subdivision rail line and matching federal dollars, said Bryce Boyer, an agency spokesperson. 

Boyer said the locations were selected based on safety reasons.  

“Trains are a powerful force that can demolish vehicles and anything else in their path,” Boyer said in an email. “Unfortunately the train always wins and takes up to a mile to stop, so safety processes are needed to help stop vehicles.”

Ten projects in nine counties were not completed because the state did not receive expected matching funds from railroads, Boyer said. Those projects were in Lincoln, Oklahoma, Creek, Garfield, Tillman, Jackson, Custer, Blaine, and Tulsa counties.



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Mindy Ragan Wood
Mindy Ragan Wood

Mindy covers the legislature for Oklahoma Voice. Her areas of focus include infrastructure, municipal government policies, and human services with an emphasis on the needs of intellectually vulnerable and physically challenged adults.