Crossing Closed

Published 6:05 pm Friday, April 30, 2010

Motorists who are accustomed to taking the Josephine Streetrailroad crossing to get around the Amtrak when it’s parkeddowntown, or just to cross the tracks in general, will need to finda new way around.

Brookhaven Mayor Les Bumgarner said the closing of the JosephineStreet crossing was a requirement for the Multi-Modaltransportation hub to get the go-ahead. Canadian National Railroadofficials said that it would be unsafe for the train to be startingup that close to a crossing without arms.

So Thursday, the deed was done, said city Public Works DirectorSteve Moreton.

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“It’s the death of the Josephine Street crossing, it has gone tobe with the great railroad crossing in the sky,” he said.

The road now ends where Josephine Street meets Whitworth Avenue,and crews are working to shore up the gaps left where the road usedto be.

Moreton asked motorists use Enterprise Street from now on, andwhen possible, to avoid Willard Street.

“Try to cross on Enterprise Street which is just north of whereJosephine was, or Court Street, which is down there by The DAILYLEADER, or just south of Josephine,” he said. “We’d like them notto come through Willard.”

The reason for that, Moreton said, is that the city barn islocated there, and city workers are constantly crossing the roadand driving vehicles in and out of the street.

“You may run over some of our guys, they come to work and go upin the city barn and punch the clock, then come back out and crossthe street, and they’re pulling out in the road,” he said. “It’sjust used as a city barn, and some of the cars that come throughthere come through pretty quick. “

In addition, he said, the fire trucks are always likely to becoming out at a moment’s notice. Overall, it’s just a better ideafor through traffic to find a different route like the posted signssuggest.

“Our guys are back and forth through there like nobody’s coming,they’re not watching for through traffic coming through there,” hesaid. “Plus there are signs that say there’s no through trafficbetween 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.”

Officials said the Multi-Modal building will hopefully befinished by the middle of June.

“We’ve had some additional stuff to come up,” said Bumgarner.”We’re putting in a circular drive for the buses, and a fence, butwe hope to be finished by mid-June.”