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Must-Know Information When Approving Development Near Highway-Rail Grade Crossings

February 14, 2023 by Nicole Mason

Imagine you just approved a development near a railroad crossing. It appeared to check all the boxes, but the railroad crossing introduces additional requirements to the process. Now the developer must delay their project by months to redesign their subdivision plat. If you are involved in the development approval process in one of the 104 Utah cities and counties containing at-grade railroad crossings, awareness of these regulations can help you avoid the headache described above.

Regardless of road ownership, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) has oversight of every railroad crossing on a public street. UDOT Administrative Code R930 ( establishes these regulations.

Section 5-7 outlines when a local road authority is responsible to request prior approval from UDOT before signing off on a new development. This approval must be received before approving any:
• Proposed new residential, commercial, or industrial development within 1,000 feet of a crossing.
• Intensified development that will significantly increase traffic volumes at the crossing.
• Proposal that will require a new railroad crossing.
• New driveway access within 250 feet of a railroad crossing.

Approval is a relatively simple process involving an on-site meeting of a “Diagnostic”” team meeting. The team is comprised of relevant stakeholders and experts from local government, railroads, project developers, UDOT, and private sector consultants. During the diagnostic team meeting, participants meet on-site to review the proposed changes and provide feedback on those proposals. The meeting concludes with action items that are recorded in an official diagnostic report from UDOT.

If you have any questions about planning around railroad crossings or need to schedule a diagnostic team meeting, please contact Jesse Sweeten, UDOT Statewide Railroad Engineer,

Article Submitted by, Michael Baker, AICP-Transportation Planner

Michael Baker, AICP – Transportation Planner, Parametrix. Vern Keeslar, AICP – Senior Consultant, Parametrix. Jesse Sweeten, PE – Statewide Railroad Engineer, UDOT.

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