Studénka Railway Crossing Has a Project Intent for Grade-Separated Junction Prepared
Daring holiday months, Správa železniční dopravní cesty (SŽDC) will submit to the Central Committee of the Ministry of Transport for approval a project intent for replacing the current level crossing at Studénka by a grade-separated junction. At the same time, it elaborated documentation for a territorial proceedings decision which has been submitted to the building authority. The intent’s approval is conditioned by an approving standpoint of Studénka municipal representatives concerning a change of the city ground plan.
”Closing the problematic railway crossing, building an underpass and constructing a new road for trucks will finally solve problems of the site where three people lost their lives and more sustained severe injuries in 2015. SŽDC picked altogether eight similar localities where grade-separated junctions will be constructed in the years to come to increase safety on the railway", says Mr. Dan Ťok, Minister of Transport of the Czech Republic.
The Studénka railway crossing where an extremely tragic accident occurred in July 2015 is however only one of eight railway crossings which SŽDC prepares a construction project intent for and settles a transport and territorial proceedings decision. Preparation, acquiring a building permit and the selection of a public order supplier can take several years. Besides a ground plan change of the city of Studénka which will be discussed by the municipal council in the second half of 2018, SŽDC must still acquire an approval to buy eight estates belonging to two private owners. This will satisfy the condition set by the city for approving a ground plan change. Following that, SŽDC can apply at the respective building authority for issuing a legitimate territorial proceedings decision and start preparing the construction project. In case of a smooth course of project preparation and all necessary legal acts, builders could start their work during 2020.
The main construction’s objective is to close the level crossing of the railway line with the road. A new underpass will be built on the crossing site. Its headroom was discussed withrepresentatives of the Integrated Rescue System, with the road owner and manager as well as with the city of Studénka. The selected height clearance of the underpass being 3.7 m does not enable passing of trucks intentionally. After the construction implementation, a category change of the 3rd class road on the local communication will be carried out. Heavy trucks will be diverted out off the road III/46427. A substitute road for trucks is set on the road II/464 and the motorway D1. Access to the industrial zone from the road II/464 will be ensured on Butovická Street by a newly constructed access road. The project documentation includes also a relocation of the road III/46427 which will ensure drawing away the crossing with R. Tomášek Street to the required distance from the railway crossing. By creating a new connection to industrial premises, transport by trucks will be moved outside R. Tomášek Street and truck transport will be restricted within the city.
”In case of constructing a grade-separated junction in Studénka, we will have to buy many estates and build an alternate road for trucks. The new service road for trucks will allow not only safer railway operation but as a secondary effect a load-off of transit transport through the city and an improvement of living condition for inhabitants in the city centre. Based on the project intent, I can estimate total financial costs approximately to CZK 700 million“, says Mr. Jiří Svoboda, Director General of SŽDC.
Constructing grade-separated junctions is not the only way how to increase railway and road transport safety. Another method is modernization and reconstruction of current classical crossings. In cooperation with the Czech Police and the Rail Authority, SŽDC selects every year dozens of railway crossings which are suitable for modernization or safety increase. These are mostly crossings where transport accidents occurred repeatedly in the past or crossings equipped with the oldest types of signalling and safety equipment or only St. Andrew’s crosses. Since the beginning of this year, eight crossings e.g. equipped only with St. Andrew’s crosses were now provided with new lighting equipment. Eleven more crossings which had red warning lights already were completed with barriers. The Czech railway infrastructure manager also plans this year to invest CZK 814 million in total into various ways of increasing safety at 82 level crossings. At the same time, SŽDC strives to decrease the number of crossings on the Czech railway. Last year, it succeeded in closing 16 crossings in total; in most cases on service or field roads.
SŽDC also works on reconstructions of the seven following level crossings in various phases of preparation. On the line Břeclav – Přerov, this concerns three crossings situated at Halenkovice, Rohatec, Napajedla and Žlutava localities; the estimated reconstruction term is within the period 2021 – 2022. In the years 2020 – 2021, reconstruction of classical crossings on the line Česká Třebová – Praha is being prepared at a level crossing in Uhersko. Another grade-separated junction is being prepared on the line Přerov – Bohumín, more specifically at Polanka nad Odrou; the final road overpass will replace a classical railway crossing on the lie line Přerov – Olomouc in the city part Olomouc-Holice.
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