North Carolina Department of Transportation plans to eliminate some railroad crossings

RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) -- The North Carolina Department of Transportation has unveiled plans to eliminate seven railroad crossings in the coming years.

Locomotives barreling across roads often cause commuter back-ups and wrecks, and when a train hits a car, the car always loses.

That's always a concern to Monica Verhaeghe of Raleigh, whose children's preschool is on Millbrook Road. The school is near Atlantic Avenue and a busy railroad intersection.

"This particular track crossing is really dangerous because it's literally right outside our school," Verhaeghe told ABC11.
She said she knows what can happen, especially when so many drivers are distracted these days.

"There's a lot of traffic," Verhaeghe said. "This is one of the main arteries of Raleigh. And I think when you have a situation like this there's bound to be an accident on the tracks. And I've seen really a lot of close calls. We use it every day that we come to school."

On Monday, the Millbrook Road crossing and six others on the rail line will be the subject of a community meeting sponsored by the Rail Division of the NC Department of Transportation.

Read more about the plans here (search for "Raleigh" in the search box.)

"What we're doing is looking to route the roads over or under the railroad which also improves traffic, improves mobility, and of course safety," explained division director Paul Worley.

If things go as planned, work on eliminating the seven crossings by building bridges over or tunnels under the roads will begin in 2020.

Eventually, state officials would like to eliminate most crossings on major rail arteries throughout the state. That will not only make driving safer and quicker for commuters but for trains as well.

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