(a) General. (1) Facilities that are the responsibility of the railroad for maintenance and operation shall conform to the specifications and design standards used by the railroad in its normal practice, subject to approval by the State highway agency and FHWA.
(2) Facilities that are the responsibility of the highway agency for maintenance and operation shall conform to the specifications and design standards and guides used by the highway agency in its normal practice for Federal-aid projects.
(b) Grade crossing improvements. (1) All traffic control devices proposed shall comply with the latest edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways supplemented to the extent applicable by State standards.
(2) Pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 109(e), where a railroad-highway grade crossing is located within the limits of or near the terminus of a Federal-aid highway project for construction of a new highway or improvement of the existing roadway, the crossing shall not be opened for unrestricted use by traffic or the project accepted by FHWA until adequate warning devices for the crossing are installed and functioning properly.
(3)(i) Adequate warning devices, under § 646.214(b)(2) or on any project where Federal-aid funds participate in the installation of the devices are to include automatic gates with flashing light signals when one or more of the following conditions exist:
(A) Multiple main line railroad tracks.
(B) Multiple tracks at or in the vicinity of the crossing which may be occupied by a train or locomotive so as to obscure the movement of another train approaching the crossing.
(C) High Speed train operation combined with limited sight distance at either single or multiple track crossings.
(D) A combination of high speeds and moderately high volumes of highway and railroad traffic.
(E) Either a high volume of vehicular traffic, high number of train movements, substantial numbers of schoolbuses or trucks carrying hazardous materials, unusually restricted sight distance, continuing accident occurrences, or any combination of these conditions.
(F) A diagnostic team recommends them.
(ii) In individual cases where a diagnostic team justifies that gates are not appropriate, FHWA may find that the above requirements are not applicable.
(4) For crossings where the requirements of § 646.214(b)(3) are not applicable, the type of warning device to be installed, whether the determination is made by a State regulatory agency, State highway agency, and/or the railroad, is subject to the approval of FHWA.
(c) Grade crossing elimination. All crossings of railroads and highways at grade shall be eliminated where there is full control of access on the highway (a freeway) regardless of the volume of railroad or highway traffic.
[40 FR 16059, Apr. 9, 1975, as amended at 47 FR 33955, Aug. 5, 1982; 62 FR 45328, Aug. 27, 1997]