New railway crossings have been installed near the Alaska Ferry Terminal.

New railway crossings have been installed near the Alaska Ferry Terminal.

Railway safety project underway in Prince Rupert

A major project by CN and the Prince Rupert Port Authority to improve safety at the crossings near the Alaska Ferry buildings is underway.

A major project by CN and the Prince Rupert Port Authority to improve safety at the crossings near the Alaska Ferry buildings is now well underway.

So far the approximately $900,000 project has seen new towers with significantly new lighting erected at the crossings, electronic sensors to control a new electronic crossing bell have been installed, a camera has been put in place and housing for the automated systems is in place. Now the bells will stop ringing once the train is 15-20 feet past the crossing as opposed to continuing to sound.

What’s left to complete, however, is six-foot fencing along the rails from the crossing down to Fairview Terminal and down to the BC Ferries terminal. Dave Fisher with the Prince Rupert Port Authority notes that there are no plans for barb wired or razor wire on the fencing, but that it is designed to drive pedestrians through the crossing area. The material for the fencing was shipped out of Vancouver on Wednesday and will be arriving in Prince Rupert on Saturday, with construction expected to begin on Monday.

CN will still have to put in a walkway up to the bus stop, install more signage and stop lines in front of the railway.

“It’s important to the port that we do this and it is important for CN to do this so the public can have safe access,” said Fisher, noting that plans are underway for a public education plan but that no firm strategy is in place as of yet.

As part of the work, the parking lot located beside the crossing will be closed as all of the fencing that exists there is being taken out and replaced with new safety fencing.