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Work to begin on dangerous railroad crossing in Phoenix

(Google Maps)

PHOENIX — A railroad crossing in Phoenix that has been listed among the most dangerous in the nation will undergo improvements starting this weekend.

Crews were scheduled to begin adding a second traffic signal at the crossing at 35th Avenue and Indian School Road. Changes will also be made to the timing of the signal.

Last year, the Federal Railroad Association determined that five of the worst crossings were in Phoenix and Glendale. The majority of those crossings are along Grand Avenue.

None of the accidents were fatal, but there were injuries.

There were 21 accidents at the 35th Avenue site and four injuries in 2016.

The Arizona Corporation Commission ordered the improvements to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe crossing. The commission is responsible for public rail and highway crossings. The agency had also planned to add two more inspectors to oversee more than 3,000 miles of railroad tracks in the state.

The work will require full closures and other traffic restrictions for an expected 60 days starting Sept. 17 but set-up this weekend will restrict lanes, according to the City of Phoenix.

At the beginning of the year, the railroad agency launched an ad campaign directed at young male drivers urging more caution at crossings.

“The message is simple: Ignoring railroad crossing signs or attempting to race or beat a train can have deadly consequences,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement when the ad was released.

“Hundreds of lives could be saved each year by simply following the rules.”

The ad was scheduled to run in 20 states, including Arizona.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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