LONGMEADOW, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A new project will be underway towards installing new, visible signs for the train crossing at Birnie Road and Tina Lane in Longmeadow.
The funding comes nearly two years after a Longmeadow DPW worker was hit by a train and killed while plowing the intersection.
With rail service starting to increase through western Massachusetts, politicians at a press conference Friday morning said the process of securing the funding made them take a closer look at improving the safety of this intersection behind me
"Unfortunately this is not the first death or the first accident at this crossing," said Senator Eric Lesser.
Senator Lesser said the Amtrak intersection Bernie Road and Tina Lane has been a saftey concern for decades before DPW worker Warren Cowles was killed in 2017.
Even with five deaths at that location, Lesser said solutions were tabled again and again.
"There have been nearly 40 years of effort to get the signalization in this crossing improved," said Lesser.
"You have a lot of different jurisdictions all intersecting at the site. The actual rail maintained and owned by Amtrak. You have a local road that intersects on both state and federal properties," Lesser explained.
Construction on new signage will begin in 2019, leaving the Longmeadow DPW with one more winter to watch for trains.
"Right now it's secured already with jersey barriers and all the gates we routinely patrol this area.It is frequently monitored by civilians but also by police officers patrolling this area," said Longmeadow Police Chief John Stankiewicz.
With a reminder of how fast these trains move interrupting the press conference, it's another sign that this new funding came two years too late for Cowles.
Still, Cowles family told Western Mass News they now have closure.
"The sacrifice that my dad made his kind of paved the path for the future father DPW workers who drive on this area," said Alex Cowles.
"We've heard of every accident that's happened here. We've seen the outcome that nothing's happened and now her son had to go be killed. I'm going to go see her and bring her this news," said Cindy Cowles, sister of Warren Cowles.
The MassDot announced they committed $700,000 to the project which will cover 90 percent of the project and Amtrak will cover the rest.