Mississippi city was not ready for grade-crossing work, creating a commuter nightmare

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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Grade-crossing work created mass confusion for city officials and motorists in Picayune, Ala.
Operation Lifesaver, Inc.

Miscommunication in Picayune, Miss., had both commuters and railroad workers red-faced, but for entirely different reasons. Work at grade crossings on Jan. 11 caused instant traffic issues after the company behind the maintenance failed to notify the city of the closures.

Road Safe Traffic Systems, which was hired by Norfolk Southern, blocked a portion of several railroad crossings so crews could replace rail that was over 60 years old and smooth out the section. However, a call was never made to city officials notifying them that work was going to start next week. The result left commuters angry and the company behind the miscommunication a little embarrassed.

The city was unable to inform motorists about the detours, and the work also disrupted school bus routes and emergency service response.

Picayune Police Chief Freddy Drennan says he intends on sending Road Safe Traffic Systems a bill for the mix-up, which required police to direct traffic.

Maintenance at crossings on Fourth Street, Goodyear Boulevard and Canal Street was expected to be finished on Jan. 12. Work will then move to Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Read more articles on track maintenance.

Categories: C&S, Class 1, Freight, ON Track Maintenance, Rail News, Railroad News, Safety/Training, Track Maintenance
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