(UPDATED) CSX will close intersections around rail crossings from Atlanta to Stone MountainThe railroad crossing near Decatur High Photo by Dan Whisenhunt
This story has been updated.
CSX is planning to upgrade several railroad crossings in the metro area this month, but the dates haven’t been finalized.
According to the City Commissioner Patti Garrett, “CSX is expected to start maintenance on the Candler Street, McDonough Street, and Atlanta Avenue crossings … for railroad tie maintenance. Intersections will each be closed for 2-3 days. Detours will be directed to either the East Lake Drive or Commerce Drive underpasses. CSX will be handling the detours.”
CSX officials initially said the closings would occur the week of Jan. 12. A spokesperson contacted Decaturish on Tuesday afternoon and said the earlier information provided by CSX was incorrect. The closings won’t begin until Jan. 19, at the earliest.
The spokesperson said the track work is part of a larger rail maintenance project in the Atlanta area that will take up to two weeks to complete. The city of Decatur’s website says, “Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians will be directed to detours at either the East Lake Drive or Commerce Drive underpasses.”
CSX spokesperson Kristin Seay said the work is part of a “network-wide maintenance program.”
“This phase of the program will cover road crossings from Atlanta to the Stone Mountain area,” Seay said. “CSX engineering crews will be laying new rail ties, resurfacing crossings and repaving them with asphalt. CSX has worked closely with local officials to coordinate the crossing closures to minimize disruption to the community. …
“Maintaining railroad infrastructure is critical to minimizing service disruptions and preventing accidents and injuries. CSX spends more than $1 billion annually on improving and maintaining track, bridges, signals and other equipment to keep freight moving safely and reliably. We appreciate the patience of community residents as we complete this work as safely and efficiently as possible.”
Seay said that CSX will work to provide some more precise details prior to the start of construction so commuters will not be caught off guard.
As first reported by Decaturish, CSX, the city of Decatur, MARTA, the Georgia Department of Transportation and DeKalb County are the target of a $1 million lawsuit filed by the operator of a train that collided with a MARTA bus in Decatur on May 22, 2013. Early that morning, a MARTA bus became stuck on the tracks at the crossing on McDonough Street, not far from Decatur High. The operator of the train, Harold Hightower, says he suffered serious injuries as a result of that collision, injuries that could’ve been avoided. The steep grade of the crossing is a known safety hazard, the lawsuit says. The work, which will encompass multiple railroad crossings, does not appear to be related to the pending litigation.