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Rail crossings at McDonough and Candler to close beginning June 19

Decatur slideshow

Rail crossings at McDonough and Candler to close beginning June 19

The railroad crossing near Decatur High Photo by Dan Whisenhunt
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The railroad crossing near Decatur High Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

By Ellie Ritter, contributor 

Interstate I-85 just reopened, but your daily route may be altered again. Starting Monday, June 19, CSX Transportation will begin rebuilding their railroad crossings at Candler and McDonough streets, according to an update from the City of Decatur.

The construction will occur at the intersections of College Avenue and Candler and McDonough streets in downtown Decatur. According to the update, construction work will continue uninterrupted until its completion, which will take around seven days. Both intersections will be closed until the work is finished.

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The primary goal of the project is safety. The city says these road closures will “significantly improve accessibility and safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.” Additionally, the city hopes to encourage those who live in neighborhoods south of the CSX rail corridor, such as Winnona Park and the areas surrounding Renfroe Middle School, to walk and bike into downtown Decatur.

Among the project’s improvements are “gentler slopes” on the north side of both crossings, making the path more accessible to wheelchairs and strollers, as well as a pedestrian – and biker – friendly route located outside the railroad crossing gates.

Currently, pedestrians and bicyclists have to share the road with vehicles at these crossings. Pedestrians will also find new crosswalks where none currently exist, located on the east side of both intersections and just north of the Candler crossing, connecting to the sidewalk along the old Depot property, according to the update.

Vehicles will also benefit from the project. Both crossings will include new traffic signals on both sides, allowing protected left turns on all legs of the two crossings.

The project expects to reduce vehicular traffic and improve the pedestrian and biker experience. Until its completion, prepare for a couple of detours. An official detour map will be published the week of June 12, the city says.

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