RAILROAD REPAIR: Maintenance will help smooth crossings

Published 9:53 pm Monday, October 22, 2018

Last week, traffic became heavily backed up on South Brundidge Street when CSX temporarily shut down all downtown railroad crossings for repairs.

A few residents were even temporarily unable to reach their homes on Railroad Avenue when the crossing at Three Notch and New Streets, although a solution was quickly worked out by CSX, city officials and officials at the nearby Serv-Cold, who opened access through their property from Gibbs Street.

Most of those crossings are now back open again, but work continues in Pike County.

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Brantley Kirk of the Alabama Department of Transportation said work began Monday on Alabama Highway 223 at the intersection of U.S. Highway 29 near Banks.

The crossing is expected to be reopened on Thursday and Kirk said motorists should seek an alternate route until the crossing is cleared.

Eric Rausch, CSX roadmaster, said the reasoning behind the closings is to do regular maintenance on the crossties on the track itself.

“We had to close the crossings to change the ties out and then a contractor comes and re-paves everything,” Rausch said.

Rausch said this maintenance is typically done once every 6 to 10 years and should benefit motorists as well as the railroad company.

“It definitely smooths out any of the crossings that were rough,” Rausch said. “We’ve actually upgraded to a newer design. It’s rubber in the crossing now as opposed to the wood, which results in a smoother drive.”

Rausch said every road crossing from Troy to Banks Primary School will be worked on throughout the rest of this week.

Once the work is done in the Banks area, Rausch said the company will be done for the year.

“We shouldn’t be a thorn in anybody’s side here for another eight years or so,” Rausch said.