Rail work to close crossings

Published 10:53 pm Friday, January 17, 2020

Rail work throughout the week will impact Suffolk residents and services, but Public Works Director L.J. Hansen said any disruptions should be minimized.

Work has been taking place over the past couple of days that has closed the crossing at Indian Trail Road at Carr Lane.

Additional rail work will close roads at the following locations:

  • Kingsale Road (between Carr Lane and Indian Trail Road — Jan. 21-22
  • Moore Avenue at East Pinner Street — Jan. 22-23
  • Pine Street at Prentis Street — Jan. 22-23
  • West Constance Road at Prentis Street — Jan. 23-24

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The list of roadway closures does not include private crossings that may be impacted, Hansen said.

“The Department of Public Works has been working with CSX and their contractors, and they have some folks that are working pretty hard to try to minimize impacts,” Hansen said, “but of course, anytime you close a railroad crossing, it does happen.”

He said the city tried to get CSX to stagger the work a little more to reduce the impacts of the work, but he said based on what they’re doing, it’s hard for CSX to move equipment around as it’s doing the work.

Councilman Donald Goldberg expressed concern about the work at three of the locations happening on the same day.

“I don’t think it’s actually going to pose a problem,” Hansen said. “The three that are downtown – we’re talking about Moore, Pine and West Constance – there are roads that are in between that will alleviate some of that bottleneck. That’s not going to be a detour onto another closure onto another detour. We’ve worked that through as well as we can.”

Responding to a question from Councilman Roger Fawcett, Hansen said first responders will be able to maneuver into areas affected by the rail work.

Suffolk Public Schools Superintendent Dr. John B. Gordon III previously said buses should have minimal impact in moving through the affected areas.

Hansen said the city has worked with CSX on how to handle the truck traffic that flows through Moore Avenue. Rail work at three additional crossings — Main Street at Prentis Street, Kenyon Road at YMCA Camp Arrowhead and Buckhorn Road at Deer Path Road — will be rescheduled.

“There’s some specialized equipment that’s required because of the hardened surfaces at these … crossings,” Hansen said. “They didn’t have everything in place to help them with all of the materials that they needed. It’s kind of good news for us, though. I think it allows us more latitude, and we’ll see what we can do to try and minimize those impacts to the degree that we can.”

Because the projects are within CSX’s right of way, the city has limited ability to dictate the work, but Hansen said it does have a good relationship with CSX.

“I think this is a good, doable plan,” Hansen said, “and I think this will work for us.”