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Thursday, December 17, 2009

BNSF Beaumont project riles neighbors

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Some Beaumont, Texas, residents are outraged over a construction project near downtown that is preventing some residents from being able to park in their own driveway, local media report. BNSF is rehabilitating the tracks along Long Avenue and residents say the construction is causing problems for the entire neighborhood.

Beaumont Resident Nanette Cantue has a front row seat to what she calls construction chaos.

"This is ridiculous," said Nanette Cantue. "It's worse than the train passing by because they got different machines, blowing their horns."

Cantue has lived in the 1000 block of Long Avenue for 50 years. Cantue says she cannot remember a time when things were this bad. Cantue says she hasn't moved her car since December 13.

BNSF is working around the clock, completing railroad construction, which will add half a mile of track with eight grade crossings. The combination of barricades and construction workers scatted throughout her block has made her daily routine a struggle.

"If I go to the grocery store, I have to make two or three trips to my house to my car get the groceries," added Cantue.

On Wednesday things did not get any easier for residents, as city officials began filling a sinkhole. Investigators say on Tuesday the street collapsed on Long Avenue and Willow. City officials say the street will be closed for at least a week.

The $600,000 railroad project is expected to be completed by December 23, two days before Christmas.

"That'll be a Christmas gift for us," added Cantue.

The railroad construction project will add half a mile of track at Ewing, Center, Forrest, Magnolia, Grand, Willow, Pearl and pine streets. Asphalt overlay will also replaced.

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