Safety measures coming to Thorsby railroad crossing

Published 3:36 pm Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Chilton County Commission voted Dec. 9 to enter into a maintenance agreement with the state of Alabama for signage and gates at the railroad crossing at County Road 235 in Thorsby.

Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) will be responsible for the U.S. Highway 31 side of the crossing as the signs are located on the state’s right of way.

The cost for the construction of the project will be paid for with federal aid funds leaving the county with no expense for the project.

County engineer Tony Wearren said studies had been done over the past several years by the state concerning railroad crossings in Alabama.

“Due to the number of accidents at each crossing, the railroad crossings were given priorities,” Wearren said. “The options were either to install gates at the crossing or close the crossing.”

Wearren said meetings were held at each crossing to determine what option would be the best for that particular crossing.

ALDOT studies the number of crashes, traffic volume and number of railroad tracks to recommend which sites could receive federal aid.

Wearren said the studies are conducted by ALDOT annually.

It was decided roughly nine months ago by the state that the crossing at County Road 235 in Thorsby would not be closed due to the lengthy distance residents would have to travel to detour around the crossing.

The maintenance agreement for the project says that “upon completion and acceptance of this project, the county will maintain all signs, markings and legends in satisfactory condition in accordance with the requirements of the state as outlined in the latest edition of the National Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).”

Commissioners passed the resolution to serve as a contract between the state acting through ALDOT for the maintenance agreement for signage and gates to be installed at the railroad crossing.