News Release      
  For Immediate Release | 5-17-18      
  Media Contact | Holly Ward      
  Direct | 602-542-3847      
  E-Mail |      

Unanimous Vote to Avoid Phoenix Intersection Closure

Railroad crossing at 35th Avenue and Indian School to get needed safety improvements


PHOENIX — Corporation Commissioners met today in an emergency session to keep the intersection of 35th Avenue and Indian School open to vehicular traffic. In a unanimous vote, Commissioners approved a plan from the City of Phoenix to make critical traffic signal and railroad crossing safety enhancements to the grade crossing.
“We applaud our municipal partners for coming to the table to provide us with a plan we have been asking for over the past five years,” said Chairman Tom Forese. “We rely on our partners to join us in our mission to improve safety at all railroad crossings in the state. When that is threatened, the Commission will take swift action to fix the situation.”
Last week, Commissioners unanimously voted to order Burlington Northern & Santa Fe [BNSF] Railway Company to close the grade crossing to vehicular traffic on May 19, 2018, unless public safety improvements are agreed upon by stakeholders prior to that date. On Wednesday, the City of Phoenix submitted a plan to the Corporation Commission to make the necessary safety upgrades by May 29, 2018.
“I am excited to see a solid plan that will make immediate improvements,” said Commissioner Justin Olson. “This intersection has been named as one of the most dangerous crossings by the Federal Railroad Administration and it’s critical we address those safety concerns.”
During today’s emergency meeting, the City of Phoenix stated it would begin work right away with plans to pour the pole base over the weekend. The City’s plan will move the pre-signal and stop bar from its current location north of the railroad tracks to the south side of the tracks. The plan also commits to a 12-month review and evaluation of the crossing upgrades.      
“This is a great, first step in addressing the four remaining intersections in Phoenix that fall on the most dangerous list,” said Commissioner Boyd Dunn. “We’re looking forward to continuing this partnership with a goal of putting every Arizona crossing on the nation’s safest list.”
All items relating to the BNSF Railway Company’s application to install crossing improvements at 35th Avenue and Indian School may be found in the Corporation Commission’s online docket at under docket number RR-02635B-13-0034.
Direct link to the City of Phoenix letter:
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The Arizona Corporation Commission was established by the state’s constitution to regulate public utilities and business incorporation. The five Commissioners elected to the Corporation Commission oversee executive, legislative, and judicial proceedings on behalf of Arizonans when it comes to their water, electricity, telephone, and natural gas resources as well as the regulation of securities, pipeline, and railroad safety. To learn more about the Arizona Corporation Commission and its Commissioners, visit