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Improvements being made at deadly Wexford County railroad crossing

Safety improvements are being done to a Wexford County railroad crossing where a Manton woman was killed a year ago.

Safety improvements are being done to a Wexford County railroad crossing where a Manton woman was killed a year ago.

Kathryn Paddock died at the railroad crossing on East 14 Rd. in Manton last March after her SUV collided with a train.

Since 1987, the Federal Railroad Administration reports that there have been five train and vehicle crashes at this crossing, two of those with fatalities.

The current crossing (crossing #548180S) has yield signs, but Michigan Department of Transportation wants to do more.

"The team evaluated the conditions out there and determined that it would be reasonable and appropriate to improve the existing signs," said Kristian Foondle, MDOT Local Crossing Project Manager. "The team decided to choose the lights and gate as a better alternative for safety purposes."

MDOT said they assess the physical condition and safety needs of the state's 4,800 crossings every year.

Foondle said if there is more than one crash at a crossing within a five-year span, the crossing will automatically be reviewed in the subsequent year to discuss the current condition and whether or not making an investment in the crossing's safety would be reasonable.

Improvements at the East 14 Rd. crossing will be done by late spring or early summer.

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