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New Safety Improvements Unveiled At Dangerous Elmwood Park Rail Crossing

ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A dangerous rail crossing in Elmwood Park, New Jersey is getting a high-tech safety makeover.

By the Federal Railroad Administration's metrics, the crossing on Midland Avenue is one of the most dangerous in the country, WCBS 880's Jim Smith reported.

New Safety Improvements Unveiled At Dangerous Elmwood Park Rail Crossing

"This is actually the worst one in the Tri-State area," Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. said.

But now, a new project has put up signs, street markings and improved visibility. A series of cameras and sensors will also be tied to the traffic lights, known as a queue cutter system, to help prevent traffic from backing up onto the tracks.

"And the cameras will work and smart technology will work in a couple of ways. To assure and alert if anybody is on the tracks themselves, " NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Ronnie Hakim said. "If traffic is built up in a way that can't be cleared in a timely manner, the signals will be triggered as well."

New Safety Improvements Unveiled At Dangerous Elmwood Park Rail Crossing

The project cost around $800,000 with $300,000 coming from federal funds and $500,000 paid for by the state, officials said.

"The federal investment here in Elmwood Park is an important step towards ensuring the safety of motorists and the community, which must remain a priority," Pascrell said.

Officials predict the new improvements will cut accidents at the crossing by 40 percent.

"Our use of the queue cutter system is so innovative that it has received recognition from the Federal Rail Administration -- we could set the new standard for railroad crossings," New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox said. "I am proud of the work done on this project and feel confident that it will help improve driver safety and awareness."

Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco said this is a new day not just for the area, but the entire state, 1010 WINS' Glenn Schuck reported.

"The people here on the roadway are safer because of all the work these men and women have done," he said. "We cannot allow for people to be injured or killed any more."

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