Railroad work snarling traffic around LaGrange

Jennifer Shrader Daily News

September 5, 2013

CSX railroad has closed a number of crossings for work this week, creating a number of headaches for those trying to get around town.

“It’s created problems for us too,” said Ronnie Cantrell, LaGrange Public Works supervisor. “We’re picking up garbage on that side of town today and we can’t cross the tracks, either.”

LaGrange College students and staff are particularly hamstrung with Forrest Avenue being closed for work on the railroad bridge. Cantrell said as a small consolation Forrest Avenue is only closed during the day while crews are working.

“They just don’t want people on the road while they’re on the bridge,” he said.

But with other crossings closed on Truitt, Murphy, Callaway avenues and Clark and Jenkins streets, that leaves detours hard to find. On Thursday afternoon, many people were using Jefferson Street, which doesn’t have a traffic light where it meets Murphy Avenue. Cantrell said the city had to send people out to control traffic when residents got off work.

The work was expected to be done by the end of this week, however, and Cantrell said all work should be complete by Monday or Tuesday at the latest. Crews were expected to work through the weekend.

In the meantime, the city is recommending residents use Jefferson Street, Whitesville Street to Handley or Swift street, Lukken Industrial Drive and the industrial park or even Jefferson.

“If they’re working on a crossing, it needs work,” Cantrell said. “You’d rather have that than a train wind up in your yard.”