29th Avenue rail crossing project set to begin Tuesday
Submitted by City of Meridian
MERIDIAN, Miss. - CW&W Contractors Inc., which will be doing the work for Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern, delivered the equipment early Friday for the 29th Avenue Railroad Crossing Project, which is scheduled to begin Tuesday, Sept. 19. The railroad crossing has been in poor condition for several years, Public Works Director David Hodge said.
“Many drivers come to a near-stop before carefully going over the tracks,” Hodge said.
With more than 7,000 vehicles traveling over the crossing daily, Meridian Mayor Jimmie Smith requested Public Works investigate the steps necessary to improve it for the safety of the City and its citizens.
“Beginning in September 2022, we spoke with KCS and they recommended the railroad and its contractor perform the work necessary to rehabilitate the crossing, and the City participate in a 50/50 cost split,” Hodge explained.
Instead of using the timber rail crossing design again, the City elected to use concrete panels, which are designed to last twice as long.
Prior to sending the City of Meridian an agreement for review, KCS noted that because of a pending merger with Canadian Pacific, they would not be able to commit to any level of funding to the crossing project until Spring 2023.
In late February, Public Works reached out to KCS, and plans for a crossing project agreement were restored. A draft of an agreement was sent to the City for review in April. Once the agreement was approved by the Meridian City Council and executed by the Mayor, KCS awarded a bid for $150,000
Once the project begins, the railroad crossing is expected to be closed for two days, Hodge said. Temporary traffic control measures will be incorporated to facilitate traffic.
“The plan is to detour traffic using Eighth Street and Highway 19, with the placement of detour signs along the route,” Hodge said.
Electronic variable messaging signs will be placed along the Interstate to remind travelers to use Highway 19 (Exit 150) as needed to detour around the 29th Avenue railroad crossing.