Repairs shut down streets

Published 5:00 am Monday, October 22, 2007

People traveling downtown Brookhaven may have to take differentroutes for at least a week due to railroad repairs at keycrossings.

Mayor Bob Massengill said Canadian National will have severalworkers at the heavily-trafficked Monticello and Enterprise streetcrossings starting Monday or Tuesday.

“They’ll keep the crossings closed for the better part of aweek,” said Massengill. “But my hope is they’ll be through by theweekend so it will be open then.”

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Director of Public Works Steve Moreton said the city has seen toit that city systems that revolve around transportation have beenmade aware of the detours.

“We’ve notified our police and fire departments of the newroutes, as well as the school system for rerouting of school buses.They’ll have signs up,” he said.

Detour signs put up by the railroad company will mark the bestroutes around the closed intersection.

“They’ve assured me there will be an ample number of detoursigns so people know before they get to the railroad that the workis going on,” he said.

Moreton said the detour routes will simply involve going aroundthe crossing by a block. He said drivers coming from the directionof Brookhaven High School will be routed north one block to FirstStreet, then west to North Jackson Street, then south one block toWest Monticello Street again.

“Those are the wider streets, and I chose them because I feltlike if they came up by the DAILY LEADER and down by Napa, thosestreets are kind of narrow,” he said.

Massengill said that the repairs go below the surface andaddress some serious concerns in the structure of the crossing.

“They’re going to replace a number of crossties,” he said. “Andas I understand it, they’re going to dig out a good bit to replacethe ties. It’s a project they had scheduled for a while, but it’scertainly timely, and we’re glad they’ve done this.”

The repairs, which Canadian National has had in the works for afew months, will clear up issues voiced by concerned citizen JohnnyPerkins, Massengill said.

“He was astute in recognizing there was a problem, and certainlythe railroad people listened to what he had to say,” he said. “Thisproject has been scheduled for a while.”

Massengill said Canadian National has been easy to deal with andhas been happy to cooperate with the city.

“They’ve been really good to deal with, and while we regret thatcrossing will be closed for several days, we’re pleased that therepairs will be made in a timely fashion,” he said.

Enterprise Street is the next crossing up for repairs, and theboard has asked CN to look at other crossings that might need someattention, including Union Street and North Jackson Street, amongothers.

“The board had asked me to contact them on several othercrossings, but they aren’t scheduled for this time,” saidMassengill. “There are other crossings in town that we need to gettheir cooperation with. They’ve been cooperative with us in pastand we know they will continue to help.”