County officials are whittling down the list of possible areas to improve railroad crossings as train traffic is expected to rise with increased freight transportation and the addition of All Aboard Florida’s Brightline passenger trains next year.
The Community Redevelopment Agency board on Monday prioritized improvements at crossings near schools, Golden Gate and downtown Stuart after hearing recommendations for potential upgrades at 11 roadways and five pedestrian-heavy locations.
The Martin Metropolitan Planning Organization in September approved an $80,000 study to examine the feasibility of creating grade separations — leveled interchanges such as under- and overpasses — to reduce traffic congestion and enhance safety near railroad crossings.
Monday’s presentation included two options to improve the crossing at State Road A1A in Rio. One suggestion was building a bridge over the crossing on Dixie Highway to create a streamlined traffic flow.
So far, the MPO has screened 25 county Florida East Coast Railway crossings without grade separations and trimmed the least feasible options.
Ultimately, the MPO will advance with plans for two vehicle and two pedestrian/bicycle crossings, then pursue federal and state grants.
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