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Railroad crossing gate aimed at increasing safety
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A new crossing gate has been placed at the railroad tracks on Old Well Road. The gate comes down and blocks the road when a train is approaching and serves as an extra safety precaution on what is a heavily traveled road.
“Speaking as an engineer, this is one of the most dangerous crossings we have,” said Sharon Hobbs with Caney Fork and Western Railroad. “Cars and trucks fly through here. That’s a given. I have to crawl through this intersection at 5 mph and even then I’m worried about hitting somebody. It’s not going to hurt me because I’m up in the train, but I don’t want to see anybody get hit.”
That railroad intersection is close to a truck entrance to Bridgestone and also close to the bypass, meaning the road receives steady traffic.
“It’s severely dangerous here,” said Hobbs. “There have been a lot of close calls and I’m thrilled to have this here.”
The Tri-County Rail Authority, which serves Warren, Coffee and White counties, worked to have the gate installed, along with the Warren County Commission, Caney Fork and Western Railroad, and the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
While exact figures were not provided, such gate crossings generally cost $125,000 to $150,000, according to Hobbs.