A new CN Railway crossing with all the bells and whistles is coming to the Prince George area, according to a report to City Council.

The project will be located at the west Otway Road crossing, roughly 4 kilometres northwest of Foothills Boulevard.

CN plans to modify the existing crossing warning system with the installation of a roadway warning system consisting of flashing lights, bells, gates and a constant warning time device.

In the report, Blake McIntosh, Acting Director of Civic Operations says a constant warning device is necessary to detect varying train speed, and to provide consistent warning for drivers approaching the area.

“Transport Canada introduced Grade Crossings Regulations that incorporate Grade Crossings Standards and to bring a consistent level of safety to each railway crossing in Canada,” said McIntosh.

All crossings that already exist have to be updated to comply with new standards, he added.

CN Rail was approved for federal funding amounting to 50% of the total project cost — estimated to be in the range of $472,000 to $529,000.

With the federal funding approved, the City’s estimated contribution will be $118,000 to $132,250.

“As this is not a City asset we’re contributing to, we cannot capitalize these costs and so it becomes an operating expense,” he said, adding the funding source would
need to be the City’s contingency budget.

McIntosh says the same system was installed at two local other crossings in 2019 as part of CN’s rail line twinning project.

The cost of maintaining the crossing warning system shall be paid 50% by the Road Authority and 50% by the Railway.

The City currently pays $296 monthly for the existing crossing warning system, and will pay $326 monthly for the new crossing warning system.

The works are expected to be completed by March 31.