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Brightline adds traffic delineator posts at crossing where three died in Melbourne

A Brightline train passes behind a crossing gate on WH Jackson Street in Melbourne, where company workers have added traffic delineation posts to deter drivers from trying to drive around the gate when it's down.
Ryan Ellison
/
WMFE News
A Brightline train passes behind a crossing gate on WH Jackson Street in Melbourne where company workers have added traffic delineation posts to deter drivers from trying to drive around the gate when it's down.

Melbourne Mayor Paul Alfrey plans to discuss Brightline safety improvements at Tuesday's City Council meeting after crashes two days apart killed three people at a railroad crossing earlier this month.

Brightline made immediate changes Monday, installing traffic delineators -- slim yellow poles along the centerline -- at WH Jackson Street crossing, where the fatal crashes occurred.

Alfrey went on social media to update the city.

"I posted today about the delineators that were put out," he said in a telephone interview, "and those are used to keep traffic in a certain lane." They'll make it more difficult for a vehicle to leave its lane and circumvent the arm of the railroad crossing gate when it's closed.

He said Brightline has plans to use a $25 million from a federal Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity grant matched with $10 million in state funds plus about $10 million of Brightline's own money

That will fund additional safety measures at 328 grade crossings between West Palm Beach and Cocoa.

Brightline made initial improvements at crossings all along the route before the high-speed trains began to operate. These additional measures will include delineators, raised pavement markers, striping, fencing and safety signage.

Brightline officials say work on the improvements is expected to start this year.

Most crossings in Melbourne also have quad gates, which block all lanes and make it hard to drive through a closed gate. The WH Jackson Street crossing does not.

But quad gates are not part of the RAISE grant, which was announced in August 2022.

Alfrey said the Police Department teamed up with Brightline on Friday to educate members of the public on safety at railroad crossings.

As he posts updates on Facebook, Alfrey ends his comments with this quote: "When the arm is down, don't go around."

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.
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