Officials Considering Closing Railroad Crossing In Midland County

Officials Considering Closing Railroad Crossing In Midland County

Josh Navarro
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND- The Texas Department of Transportation and Union Pacific are looking at closing one particular railroad crossing in Midland County. The railroad crossing that authorities are considering closing is the last one in Midland County heading Eastbound.

It's located on Business 20 right before it intersects with I-20. TXDOT says there have been many incidents on that rail crossing and it'll just be safer for everyone if it was closed.

If the railroad tracks could talk, they would tell you about the many incidents that have happened at the Milepost 547 crossing.

Two years ago, a semi got hit by a train on these tracks, fortunately no one was injured. It's a dangerous scenario officials with Union Pacific and TXDOT are trying to prevent.

"They've had, I believe he said, like a dozen collisions there in the last three to four years. They asked us to consider closing it, so we're trying to see what the public thinks about that possibility," Gene Powell, with the Texas Department of Transportation, said.

According to TXDOT, 18-wheelers have gotten stuck on those tracks six times last year.

"With two tracks there and the chance of being high centered and all those kinds of things. It'll be a lesser of a place where cars can cue up so to speak, to make turning movements. It might be a much safer thing, we want to make sure the public will buy into the thought," Powell said.

Powell said another reason they're thinking of closing the crossing is because there are possible plans of putting in a spur track into a pipe company further east.

"The pipe company is asking for another track. What that track will do is actually take more than 8,000 trucks off the road each year, because they'll be bringing their pipe in by train instead of by truck," Powell said.

If it boils down to a closure, TXDOT suggests drivers use the Loop 250 exits to get onto the I-20 Frontage roads. They say it's much safer than that crossing.

Right now nothing is set in stone. Officials still have to gather more information. Another open house meeting will take place soon to present the final findings and then they'll move toward making a decision.