Railroad News

Adjacent Unguarded Crossing Brings Concern as New High School Opening Approaches

(Opelika, Alabama – July 11, 2011)

The upcoming opening of the new Smith’s Station High School in Lee County, AL has many entities – which obviously don’t include Norfolk Southern Railroad, whose tracks cross the road that leads to the school’s main parking lot – concerned about the potential danger to students and others as the 2011-12 school year approaches.

The grade crossing is equipped solely by two crossbuck signs and a single one sided stop sign. The Lee County Commission is looking into closure of the crossing and District 3 Commissioner Gary Long proposed Monday that County Engineer Neal Hall be given permission to close the crossing as needed. During the crossing’s closure County Engineers would conduct two traffic surveys, one prior to the opening of school and one after school opens, to validate further action in regard to the crossing’s closure, whether permanent or periodic.

School buses, student, faculty and parent-driven vehicles, as well as those of attendees at the school’s various extra-curricular events are included in the huge anticipated increase for the crossing’s ADT count.