A vehicle drives over a railroad crossing near the intersection of Butterfield Road and Hartford Road Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, in Yakima, Wash.

Nearly $120,000 in grant funding will improve 20 of the 218 railroad crossings throughout Yakima County to make things safer for drivers and pedestrians.

On Tuesday, members of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission approved grants for battery replacements at 18 crossings and battery replacements and LED warning light upgrades at two crossings.

Grants to the Central Washington Railroad Company of $9,600 and $10,200 will be used to replace batteries and install LED warning lights at the Gun Club Road and Keys Road crossings near Yakima, according to a news release.

Eighteen other grants range between $5,100 and $5,700 and will be used to replace batteries at these crossings:

  • Apricot Road, Elm Avenue, Gap Road, Hinzerling Road, Pleasant Avenue and Rothrock Road near Grandview,
  • Birchfield Road near Moxee,
  • Butterfield Road, North Keys Road and University Parkway near Yakima,
  • Edison Avenue, Lincoln Avenue, Swan Road and North First, North Ninth, North 11th, North 13th and North 16th streets in Sunnyside

The upgrades must be completed by Dec. 31, 2020. The railroad will cover any costs over the approved grant amounts, including labor, associated with the upgrades.

The grants provide money to reduce accidents and fatalities at public and private crossings and along railroad tracks, the news release said. The UTC regulates railroad safety, including railroad crossings.

Reach Tammy Ayer at tayer@yakimaherald.com or on Facebook.