Railroad work set to reach Marion

Railroad work set to reach Marion

Burlington Northern track rehab project will impact daily commutes, traffic flow

ralphhardin@gmail.com Burlington Northern Railway has been making its way down the tracks with a rehab and repair project.

Last week, crews reached Crittenden County, working near Turrell on Friday and southbound for Marion.

The project will reach Marion this week and will impact three railroad crossings within city limits.

“They’re putting down a massive number of new ties,” said Marion Street Department Supervisor Gordon Floyd. “They’re working fast but it’s going to require some shut-downs that people need to be aware of.”

Floyd said the work would begin as early as Tuesday and be completed as early as Friday, but the project will need some cooperation from Mother Nature.

“They expect to start on Tuesday, and there are three railroad crossings they will be working on,” he said.

“It’s going to be 24-to-48 hours per crossing, and those roads will have to be closed while the work is done.”

Floyd said motorists should be on the lookout for “Road Closed” and “Detour” signs and plan accordingly during the closures.

“We’ll have the signs up and hopefully it won’t be too much of a hassle,” he said. “We want to make this as little of an inconvenience as possible.”

Of the three crossings, the one most likely to cause traffic issues is the intersection with Old Military Road. The frequently-traveled thoroughfare provides the most convenient access to the River Trace subdivision, the Crittenden County Courthouse, the K& R baseball complex and several local businesses. It will be the second of the three crossings to be tackled by Burlington Northern crews. The first will be at the Jackson Street crossing.

Jackson runs behind the courthouse on the north side, connecting Highway 77 to Cypress Drive. Although not as frequently used as the Old Military Road crossing, Jackson will likely serve as the most popular alternate route while Military Road is shut down.

The third and final crossing will be at the intersection of the railroad and Midel Marconi Drive, the connecting road between Highway 77 and Mound City Road. By the time crews begin on the Midel Marconi site, Military Road will be completed and reopened.

“They’re doing them one at a time, at one or two days per site,” said Floyd.

“So, traffic will still be able to flow. You’ll just have to figure out the best way to get around (the work).”

By Ralph Hardin

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