Crossing Treatment Procedures
State Laws and Regulations
62.301. Assessment of physical condition and safety needs of grade crossings; notice; diagnostic study team review; funding of adjustments or improvements; administration of funds; routine inspections
Sec. 301. (1) The department, upon request of any interested party or by its own interest, may when it considers necessary assess the physical condition and safety needs of grade crossings of railroad tracks with public streets and highways or with a nonmotorized trail by scheduling a diagnostic study team review at the grade crossing or group of grade crossings. Written notice shall be given to all parties 15 days before the review. Each affected organization shall be represented by a knowledgeable individual prepared to contribute information requested in the notice and empowered to make decisions on behalf of that party. A decision by a diagnostic study team concerning the safety needs of a grade crossing based upon current roadway and railroad traffic levels, speeds and other parameters, funding arrangements, division of responsibility, and scheduling will be mutually decided to accommodate adjustments or improvements, relocations, closures, grade separations, or other changes reasonably required in the interest of public welfare and safety. The department shall issue an order confirming the agreements reached, in writing, to all parties.
(2) If consensus cannot be reached during the diagnostic study team review, the department, by order to the affected parties, shall require such adjustments or improvements, relocations, closures, or other changes as may be reasonably required in the interest of public welfare and safety. The railroad or railroads having responsibility for the track or tracks in the grade crossing, and the road authority having jurisdiction of the streets or highways shall be given due notice and have the right to a hearing.
(3) The cost of an adjustment or improvement, relocation, closure, grade separation, or other change determined necessary by a department order shall be funded as provided in this act. Items of work which would usually be at the expense of the railroad or road authority may be funded from the following sources if the work is eligible for such funding and if the funds are available:
(a) First, from federal funds obtained through the federal aid railroad-highway grade crossing improvement program.
(b) Second, from state funds obtained through the railroad grade crossing account of the state trunk line fund.
(4) The department shall administer these funds in an efficient and equitable manner by establishing an annual prioritization of grade crossing safety improvements. Items of work determined to be routine maintenance items shall not be eligible for funding from these funding sources. The department may, at its own discretion, approve or disapprove the use of these funds for items of grade crossing surface and roadway approach work. Federal funds obtained for high-speed rail corridor grade crossing improvements, needed to accommodate trains at speeds exceeding 79 miles per hour, shall be expended prior to the use of those federal and state funds of the type referenced in subsection (3)(a) and (b) on a high-speed rail corridor. No federal or state funds of the type referenced in subsection (3)(a) and (b) shall be expended for construction of grade separations on federally designated high speed rail corridors.
(5) The department may, through routine inspections, periodically serve notice to affected parties, that existing devices and conditions exist at public grade crossings need corrective action. The railroads or road authorities, or both, shall, at their cost and according to their respective responsibility, expeditiously correct the deficiency and advise the department in writing when the work is completed.
Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 62.301
462.307. Approval and regulation of grade crossings
Sec. 307. (1) A new public street, highway, or a new nonmotorized trail shall not be constructed across the tracks of any railroad, or the new tracks of any railroad shall not be constructed across a public street, highway, or nonmotorized trail until approval is granted by the department. Upon application, the department shall investigate the location of the proposed crossing.
(2) The department, when it determines necessary for the safety of the public, may change the location of or abolish any existing public grade crossing after not less than 30 days’ notice in the area affected by the crossing. A public hearing shall be held by the department if requested by any affected party. Within 30 days after the date of the hearing, the department may issue an order to close the existing grade crossing. Any person, local unit of government, or road authority having an interest in the abolishment of an existing grade crossing, within 30 days after the closure order of the department, may commence an action in the circuit court for the county of Ingham against the department as defendant to vacate or set aside the order.
(3) Commencing with the date of the federal designation of a high-speed rail corridor, a public or private at-grade street or highway or a farm, bicycle, or pedestrian crossing shall not be constructed across the railroad tracks of that corridor except for a crossing consolidation or relocation approved by the department.
(4) If the location of a proposed crossing is found to be necessary, feasible, and may be made reasonably safe for a crossing at grade, the department shall grant permission for the crossing. The department shall require installation of such traffic control devices as in its judgment may be appropriate. When a crossing necessitated by a new roadway across an existing track is permitted, the department shall simultaneously, after investigation and hearing, order the abolishment of 1 or more existing grade crossings having less than 100 vehicles a day within the same road authority jurisdiction, if the involved road authority and railroad may waive hearing thereon.
(5) If the department determines that the proposed location may not be made reasonably safe for a grade crossing, it shall deny permission for the crossing and require the crossing to be redesigned, if constructed at that location, or to be made other than at grade in accordance with section 319.1 If the department determines that it is impractical to secure a safe crossing at the point in question, either at grade or otherwise, it shall deny the grade crossing.
(6) The full cost of constructing a new street or highway across an existing railroad, or of a new railroad track or tracks across an existing street or highway, shall be borne by the party requesting the crossing. The following shall apply to a new or relocated grade crossing:
(a) The plans for the grade crossing shall be approved by both railroad and road authority. If there is a failure to agree, the department shall settle the points of disagreement by the terms of its order.
(b) The relocation of an existing grade crossing or the establishment of a new grade crossing at which the existing public highway grade crossing is completely abandoned, shall be constructed and the cost borne in the same manner as in the case of a new grade crossing. The maintenance responsibility of the relocated crossing shall be the same as the removed crossing unless otherwise agreed to by the parties.
(c) Temporary grade crossings shall be constructed, maintained, and removed at the sole expense of the parties requesting the same.
(d) The cost of construction shall include the direct construction cost of the roadbed, track structure, grade crossing surface, pavement, traffic control devices and drainage, including all material, labor, and services and other costs of construction.
(e) After construction, the grade crossing and traffic control devices shall be maintained as provided in this act.
(7) Upon approval of any new grade crossing project requested by a road authority, the road authority shall notify the railroad, in writing, to furnish a competent inspector and other necessary persons to inspect the construction of the grade crossing which shall be constructed according to the order of the department. The road authority shall pay to the railroad the actual costs incurred by the railroad for the time actually and necessarily spent in inspecting construction. Upon approval of any new grade crossing project requested by a railroad, the railroad shall notify the road authority, in writing, to furnish a competent inspector and other necessary persons to inspect the construction of the grade crossing which shall be constructed according to the order of the department. The railroad shall pay to the road authority the actual costs incurred by the road authority for the time actually and necessarily spent in inspecting construction.
(8) A road authority may request a railroad or a railroad may request a road authority, in writing, to reconstruct, change, widen, or alter that portion of an existing grade crossing with a public street or highway for which they are responsible to accommodate the requesting party’s plans for reconstruction, change, widening, or alteration of their crossing related facility. The requesting party shall notify the other party to conform to the change simultaneously with the requesting party’s work. However, if the party requested to make changes refuses, the requesting party may make application to the department for a determination. The department, after due hearing on the issue, shall determine the matters in dispute by order. The full cost of the reconstructing, change, widening, or alteration shall be borne by the party requesting it, unless otherwise agreed to.
(9) If a track through any grade crossing is abandoned through legal proceedings, the railroad, at its cost as part of routine maintenance, shall remove the tracks and any active traffic control devices and then shall restore the street or highway surface in a manner satisfactory to the road authority. The road authority, at its cost as part of routine maintenance, shall remove all passive traffic control devices. The track and all traffic control devices shall be removed within 1 year of the abandonment. Until such removal is complete, the railroad and road authority shall maintain it in accordance with this act.
(10) If a track through any grade crossing becomes unnecessary for the conduct of railroad services, the railroad, at its cost as part of routine maintenance, shall remove the track and any active traffic control devices and then shall restore the street or highway surface in a manner satisfactory to the road authority. The road authority, at its cost as part of routine maintenance, shall remove all passive traffic control devices. The department may order the railroad to remove the track and any traffic control devices if there is not a likelihood of continued use. Until the track and all traffic control devices are removed, the railroad and road authority shall maintain it in accordance with this act.
Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 462.307
462.319. Construction or reconstruction of highway/railroad grade separation structure
Sec. 319. (1) The construction of a new highway/railroad grade separation structure or the total reconstruction of an existing grade separation structure shall require a written agreement between all affected railroads, the road authority, and any other parties required by law to participate in the construction or funding of the grade separation. As a minimum, the written agreement shall include the following:
(a) A detailed statement of the work to be performed by each party.
(b) Methods of payment.
(c) A description of any work to be performed by the affected parties at no cost to the project.
(d) Each party’s share of the project cost.
(e) An itemized estimate of the cost of work to be performed by the railroad.
(f) Methods to be used for performing the work, including contract and force account work.
(g) Maintenance responsibilities.
(h) Form, duration, and amounts of any needed insurance.
(i) Appropriate reference to or identification of plans and specifications.
(j) Statements defining the conditions under which the railroad will provide or require protective services during performance of the work, the type of protective services, and the method of reimbursement to the railroad.
(k) Required minimum horizontal and vertical clearances for each track and roadway passing over or under the separation.
(l) A clause providing transfer of responsibilities to successive parties in the event of the change of ownership or jurisdiction of the railroad or highway.
(m) The parties responsible to expeditiously remove the grade separation structure and cost responsibility if the grade separation is no longer needed.
Each party signing the agreement shall receive an executed copy of the agreement and shall retain the agreement or a facsimile of the agreement for the life of the structure. If the roadway or railroad changes jurisdiction or ownership, the copy of the agreement shall be provided to the new affected party.
(2) The partial reconstruction of an existing highway/railroad grade separation, the alteration of an existing grade separation for increased railroad or highway facilities, or the removal of an existing grade separation shall be accomplished under the terms and conditions of the existing agreement or agreements covering the existing grade separation. If no agreement exists for the separation or if the existing agreement does not adequately address the proposed work, a new written agreement meeting the requirements of subsection (1) shall be executed before commencement of the work.
(3) For new construction, partial reconstruction, alteration, or removal of a grade separation, as provided for in subsections (1) and (2), where the affected parties cannot come to agreement, either the railroad or road authority may request, in writing, the department to order the construction, reconstruction, alteration, or removal of a grade separation. A request by a railroad or road authority shall include proposed profiles, plans, maps, and specifications showing the portions of the street or highway and the railroad or railroads, for which the grade is to be changed or modified and the details of construction necessary for the improvements.
(4) The department shall set a day for a hearing on the request and give written notice, together with a copy of the request, to all known interested parties in the proceeding at least 10 days before the day set for the hearing, and on the day set for hearing, or at any adjournment or continuance of the hearing, the parties in interest shall be entitled to be heard. The department may issue summonses or subpoenas to enforce the attendance of witnesses at the hearing and may make such examination of the location of the grade separation as it considers necessary.
(5) If after the hearing the department finds that the separation of grades, the reconstruction of existing grade separations, or the alteration of existing grade separations for increased highway or railroad facilities is necessary for the public convenience, welfare, and safety, it may by proper order approve the separation of grades, the reconstruction of existing grade separations, or the alteration of existing grade separations for increased highway or railroad facilities, together with the profiles, plans, maps, and specifications to govern the work. If it finds that there is no such necessity, it may by proper order deny the request. The department, if in its judgment finds it is necessary for the public convenience, welfare, and safety, may change or alter the location of a grade separation. When existing grade crossings of any streets or highways with the railroad are near an involved grade separation, plans for which are approved pursuant to this act, and are situated within a reasonable distance of the site approved for grade separation, and when it is considered practical and reasonable to abolish any of such crossings by connecting the streets or highways to the highway directly served by the approved grade separation project, the department may order such crossings closed, may specify or approve the nature of connections to the highways interrupted by closing these crossings, and may require that the work be included as a part of the grade separation project. Profiles, plans, maps, and specifications for structures and railroad and highway approaches shall be prepared, unless otherwise agreed upon, by the party whose traffic is to be carried thereon, and likewise, unless otherwise agreed upon, the work of construction shall be performed by the party whose traffic is to be carried by such construction. However, if the profiles, plans, maps, and specifications of any party or parties have not been agreed to in writing by the other parties interested in the improvement before the day set for hearing on the application before the department, the department shall in its order prescribe the manner in which the separation of grades, the reconstruction of existing grade separations, or the alteration of existing grade separations shall be affected, fix and approve the profiles, plans, maps, and specifications, and in this behalf may approve in whole or in part, modify, or alter the plans submitted by the applicant.
(6) Unless otherwise agreed upon, the cost of constructing and making separation of grades, the reconstruction of existing grade separations, or the alteration of existing grade separations for increased highway or railroad facilities, computed as provided in this act, shall be borne according to the benefits received, except that projects requested by the road authority shall not exceed 15% by the affected railroad with the balance paid by the road authority, and projects requested by the railroad shall not exceed 15% by the affected road authority with the balance paid by the railroad. If there is more than 1 affected railroad, and the railroads do not agree on the division of the amount to be borne by each, then the division shall be made by the order of the department. If the amount to be borne by more than 1 road authority is not agreed upon, the division of the amount to be borne by them shall be made by the order of the department.
(7) Unless otherwise agreed upon, the department shall determine the parts or sections of a grade separation undertaking that shall be maintained by the railroad and the part or sections that shall be maintained by the road authority. Unless there are special conditions which complicate a direct allotment of the division of maintenance responsibilities, the maintenance of the structure and approaches and corresponding items of work shall be performed and the cost shall be borne entirely by the party whose traffic is carried thereon. The railroad shall repair or replace, at its own expense, any portions that may be damaged or destroyed by accident or otherwise arising from railroad traffic, and the road authority will repair or replace, at its own expense, any portions that may be damaged or destroyed by highway traffic.
(8) In computing the costs of an improvement, abuttal damages, property acquisition costs, engineering costs, all the other costs of construction, both temporary and permanent, including railroad and highway approaches to the structure incident to the separation of grades, reconstruction of existing grade separations, and the alteration of existing grade separations for increased highway or railroad facilities as set forth in the profiles, plans, maps, and specifications approved by the department may be considered. Additional property acquired or to be acquired for economizing the cost of the improvement and necessary to the grade separation structure and immediate approaches for preserving the existing railroad or highway may be considered a construction cost and included in the cost of the improvement.
Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 462.319
State Laws, Regulations, and Penalties
462.391. Obstruction of vehicular traffic by trains; penalties
Sec. 391. (1) A railroad shall not permit a train to obstruct vehicular traffic on a public street or highway for longer than 5 minutes at any 1 time, except the obstruction shall not be considered a violation under the following circumstances:
(a) If the train is continuously moving in the same direction at not less than 10 miles per hour for not longer than 7 minutes.
(b) If the railroad can show that the incident occurred as a result of a verifiable accident, mechanical failure, or unsafe condition.
(2) A railroad shall not permit successive train movements to obstruct vehicular traffic on a public street or highway until all vehicular traffic previously delayed by such train movements has been cleared.
(3) A railroad company shall not permit its employees to allow the activation of active traffic control devices at a railroad grade crossing for more than 2 minutes if there is no intention to move a train or track equipment through the crossing within 20 seconds to 60 seconds after the activation of the devices.
(4) Each offense under this section shall be a separate violation punishable by a fine of not more than $500.00 unless the railroad is willfully, deliberately, and negligently blocking vehicular traffic and then the fine shall be not more than $1,000.00 and the costs of prosecution.
(5) All fines civil or otherwise collected by a local unit of government in excess of $10,000.00 annually from the enforcement of a local ordinance substantially similar to this section shall be allocated as follows:
(a) Fifteen percent shall be retained by each local unit of government for costs of enforcement of the ordinance.
(b) Eighty-five percent shall be deposited in a railroad grade crossing safety fund. The revenue collected in this fund shall be used solely for railroad grade crossing safety projects in these local units of government.
Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 462.391
State Law and Regulations
257.668. Railroad crossings designated as stop or yield crossings; signage; failure of other on-track equipment to trigger electric or mechanical signal device; violations
Sec. 668. (1) The state transportation department with respect to highways under its jurisdiction and the county road commissions and local authorities with respect to highways under their jurisdiction may designate certain grade crossings of railways by highways as “stop” crossings, and erect signs at the crossings notifying drivers of vehicles upon the highway to come to a complete stop before crossing the railway tracks. When a crossing is designated and signposted as provided in this subsection, the driver of a vehicle shall stop not more than 50 feet but not less than 15 feet from the railway tracks. The driver shall then traverse the crossing when it may be done in safety.
(2) The state transportation department with respect to highways under its jurisdiction and the county road commissions and local authorities with respect to highways under their jurisdiction may designate certain grade crossings of railways by highways as yield crossings, and erect signs at the crossings notifying drivers of vehicles upon the highway to yield. Yield signs may be mounted on the same post as the crossbuck sign. Drivers of vehicles approaching a yield sign at the grade crossing of a railway shall maintain a reasonable speed based upon existing conditions and shall yield the right-of-way. The cost of yield sign installations shall be borne equally by the railroad and the governmental authority under whose jurisdiction the highway rests. The erection of or failure to erect, replace, or maintain a stop or yield sign or other railroad warning device, unless the device or sign was ordered by public authority, is not a basis for an action of negligence against the state transportation department, county road commissions, the railroads, or local authorities.
(3) If other on-track equipment does not trigger the activation of an electric or mechanical signal device, and employees of the railroad have followed all applicable railroad operating rules, there is no basis for a civil action against the railroad that operated the other on-track equipment, the state transportation department, a county road commission, or a local authority, or an employee or agent of the railroad that operated the other on-track equipment, the state transportation department, a county road commission, or a local authority.
(4) A person who fails to stop or yield as required by this section is responsible for a civil infraction.
Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 257.668
462.303. Requirement of traffic control devices at crossings
Sec. 303. The department, at no cost to the freight railroads or adjacent property owners, may order traffic control devices at existing farm, other private, bicycle, and pedestrian crossings of the railroad tracks of a high speed rail corridor including signs, signals, crossing gates, movable barriers, or other devices. The department may determine the number, type, and location of signs, signals, gates, or other types of safety devices which shall conform as closely as possible with generally recognized national standards.
Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 462.303
Warning Devices- Train Borne
State Laws, Regulations, and Penalties
No applicable statute relating to this topic.
Warning Devices- Active
State Laws and Regulations
462.315. Active traffic control devices
Sec. 315. (1) The department, by order, in accordance with section 301,1 may prescribe active traffic control devices to warn of the approach of trains about to cross a street or highway at public railroad grade crossings consisting of signals with signs, circuitry, or crossing gates and other appurtenances as depicted in the Michigan manual on uniform traffic control devices. A determination must detail the number, type, and location of signals with signs, circuitry, or gates and appurtenances, that must conform as closely as possible with generally recognized national standards.
(2) Except as otherwise provided for in this act, the cost of any installation, alteration, or modernization of active traffic control devices must be at equal expense of the railroad and road authority.
(3) After initial installation, all active traffic control devices, circuitry, and appurtenances at crossings must be maintained, enhanced, renewed, and replaced by the railroad at its own expense, except that the road authority shall pay, subject to the increase described in this subsection, $1,427.00 for flashing signals on a single track, $2,867.00 for flashing signals and gates on a single track, $2,105.00 for flashing signals with cantilever arm on a single track, $3,239.00 for flashing signals with cantilever arm with gates on a single track, $3,394.00 for flashing signals and gates on multiple tracks, $4,352.00 for flashing signals with cantilever arms and gates on a multiple track, $1,698.00 for flashing signals on a multiple track, and $2,167.00 for flashing signals with cantilever arms on a multiple track annually for maintenance to the railroad for each crossing with active traffic control devices not covered by existing or future railroad-road authority agreements. The railroad shall furnish standard equipment uniform for all railroads at a cost and installation basis consistent for all railroads. Beginning January 1, 2024, and on January 1 of each even-numbered year after 2024, the amounts a road authority must pay under this subsection are increased by 6.64%.
(4) Standard active railroad-highway traffic control devices consisting of side of street flashing light signals with or without half-roadway gates and cantilevers must include the railroad crossing (crossbuck) sign, “stop on red signal” sign, and number of tracks sign located, designed, and maintained on the signal support as prescribed by the Michigan manual on uniform traffic control devices. The railroad shall perform actual installation and maintenance of these signs. The railroad shall also install, renew, and maintain any signs placed on cantilevered signal supports. If active traffic control devices are installed at any crossing, those active traffic control devices must be so arranged that for every train or switching movement over the grade crossing, the active traffic control devices operate for a period of not less than 20 seconds or more than 60 seconds in advance of the train movement reaching the nearest established curb line or highway shoulder and the devices must continue to operate until the train movement has passed the established curb line or shoulder on the far side of the highway.
(5) The department may order a railroad, at the railroad’s expense, to stop and flag a crossing for normal train service or when active traffic control devices may become inoperable.
Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 462.315
State Laws and Regulations
462.323. Construction and maintenance of farm crossings; establishment and use of other private crossings
(1) A farm crossing shall be constructed and maintained by the railroad at the expense of the party requesting the crossing.
(2) Farm crossings shall be of such width and condition as shall permit expeditious and safe passage of large farm machinery.
(3) A railroad may permit the establishment and use of other private crossings on such terms as may be negotiated between the requesting party and the railroad.
Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 462.323
State Laws, Regulations, and Penalties
462.317. Establishment of clear vision areas at grade crossings
Sec. 317. (1) If a road authority determines to establish a clear vision area as described in this section, the railroad and a road authority may agree in writing for clear vision areas with respect to a particular crossing. The portions of the right-of-way and property owned and controlled by the respective parties within an area to be provided for clear vision shall be considered as dedicated to the joint usage of both railroad and road authority.
(2) The acquisition of right-of-way, purchase and removal of obstructions within a clear vision area, including buildings and other artificial constructions, trees, brush, and other growths, and grading or earthwork, and including the maintenance of such conditions, shall be at the equal cost and expense of the railroad and road authority.
(3) For public, farm, bicycle, pedestrian, or other private crossings of the railroad tracks of a high speed rail corridor, state, federal, and other funds may be expended in accordance with section 301(4)1 for construction of access roads, purchase of real estate, purchase of private crossing easements, compensation for crossing closure, utility relocation, costs associated with improvements to traffic control devices, grade crossing closures, relocations, consolidations, and separations.
Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 462.317 (West)