State officials say they repair over two dozen bumpy rail crossings each year, but are still way behind. Kevon Jones, the Rail Transportation Director for the Iowa Department of Transportion, says the D-O-T fixes about 25 crossings each year, but still have a backlog of nine to ten years. Jones says the D-O-T budgets 900-thousand for the repairs each year. The money’s awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to the county or city that requests the repairs. He says the bumpy crossings don’t pose a major threat, but can be an annoyance to drivers.On a related issue, Jones says the number of rail crossings with warning lights or gate arms is increasing. The federal government provides four million dollars to the state to fix or add rail-warning signals. Jones says only 40-percent of the rail crossings in Iowa have warning lights or crossing arms. Jones says those warning devices are added based on need.They have a formula based on rail traffic and vehicle traffic that determines which crossings get fixed first. Jones says there are some five thousand rail crossings in Iowa.
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