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North Ridgeville railroad crossing to close for repairs, upgrades


NORTH RIDGEVILLE — One of the city’s four “quiet zone” railroad crossings will close for a week to allow Norfolk Southern Railroad Corp. and the city to make repairs and upgrades.

Plans call for the Race Road crossing to close 8 a.m. May 27 and reopen to traffic 8 a.m. June 3, according to information from North Ridgeville Assistant City Engineer Cathy Becker.

Norfolk Southern will perform what Becker termed routine maintenance, including replacement of railroad ties, and resurfacing the two-lane road on either side of the tracks.

At the same time, the city has contracted with Campbell Technology Corp. to upgrade the crossing’s vehicle detection system at a cost of $32,678, Becker said.

Campbell Technology installed the vehicle detection system in 2012, when Race Road was one of four railroad crossings in the city converted to “quiet zone” crossings as part of a long-sought $2.5 million project designed to decrease the piercing noise of train whistles sounded 70 to 80 times a day by freight trains traveling through the city.

“They’re two separate projects,” Mayor David Gillock said. “Norfolk Southern will do their own thing and we’ll do ours.”

During the shutdown, Campbell Technology will unearth the vehicle detection equipment that helps trigger and control the double gates, including magnetized sensors embedded in road surfaces at three of the four crossings.

“They’re going to dig them up and bury them deeper in the ground so the next time the railroad does maintenance work, they won’t disturb them,” Gillock said.

It was not immediately known how deep detection sensors and other equipment were to be buried.

The “quiet zones” exist at crossings on Race, Root and Chestnut Ridge, where double gates on either side of railroad tracks block drivers from crossing as trains bear down on them, sometimes at high speeds.

Double gates eliminate the need for oncoming trains to blow their whistles to alert approaching motorists, Gillock said.

A fourth crossing at Maddock Road, deemed too small for the double-gate system, keeps traffic in line with yellow plastic posts in the center line on both sides of the tracks.

A detour route was not released by the city, but traffic likely will use state Routes 83 or 57 to travel between Sugar Ridge and Center Ridge roads.

Local traffic cannot use Maddock Road during the scheduled work due to the shutdown of Sugar Ridge Road just west of Maddock for replacement of a small bridge.

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