ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Several railroad crossings in Albany will be closed soon, at least for three weeks while Norfolk Southern makes repairs to the tracks.
City leaders are concerned closing the crossings could create problems for drivers.
Certain railroad crossings have some in Albany worried their normal routes to work may be disrupted.
“To uproot what we have and start with something new, you’ll have to number one, look at the inconvenience and another thing, you’ll have to look at what’s coming out of the tax payers’ dollar,” said Albany resident Arnold Allen.
The City of Albany previously denied Norfolk Southern’s request to close two railroad crossings at 3rd Avenue and 7th Avenue. But now, the issue has been brought back up.
“The railroad intends to do some major crossing improvements,” said City Manager Sharon Subadan.
Improvements city leaders said they have just been notified of.
Subadan said the company needs to close the crossings at 3rd and 7th avenues and the crossing at West Society Avenue to repair the tracks.
“It’s very ironic that two months ago, they wanted to close it because they said the tracks were in bad condition and now they’re repairing them, but it is going to close them,” said Subadan.
Starting on March 14, the crossings will be closed for at least three weeks. They are set to reopen eventually, but city leaders previously requested the crossings stay open for first responders and drivers to be able to use in their daily routes.
“The thing about it is that route is already in place, so it would basically be an inconvenience on both sides,” said Allen.
Norfolk Southern representatives sent WALB the following statement:
The City of Albany has a new way to bring in money to repair roads and highways. Money the city wouldn’t see otherwise.
City leaders can now qualify for Local Administered Project certification through the Georgia Department of Transportation.
The new certification is the one way the city could get funding it isn’t already receiving.
“It also would allow us to apply and compete for federal funds that we’re not currently allowed to compete for,” said Managing Director of Engineering and Planning Bruce Maples.
Now the city can apply for grants to help with road and highway projects.