Madison County Asks Drivers to Remain ‘Patient & Alert’ During Railway Improvements

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UPDATE: According to contract engineers on site for Norfolk Southern —  all work is complete for now on crossings in eastern Madison County except Stone Drive. Again, crews on the scene advise, the work may be complete after tomorrow. There should be NO work on any crossings on Wednesday.

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - Work on Stone Drive should also be complete Tuesday, October 1. Stone Drive must be shut down for a couple of hours between 7am and 5pm.

Norfolk Southern continues to make improvements to the crossings along rail road tracks in Eastern Madison County.

After initial work on Moores Mill, Jordan and Dug Hill Roads, the repair path will continue into Gurley for the next 2 weeks.

Commission Chairman Dale Strong often sites if you took the population of the incorporated areas of Madison County, the area would be the fifth largest city in the state; that analogy is not lost on the tens of thousands of commuters who navigate the area daily.

Madison County is doing their best to alleviate commuter frustration and delays by communicating with residents.

"We have commuters trying to arrive at their jobs in a timely manner, families delivering their children to the classroom and bus routes that may be affected as well, " says Madison County Director of Community Relations Missy Ming Smith.

Smith says she has been communicating daily with project engineer Doug Gilbert of Roadsafe, the company contracted by Norfolk Southern to replace railway cross-ties.

"They must coordinate when the trains are coming through so it's not like we can tell the citizens a particular crossing will not be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.," explains Smith.

Smith says the crews only work Sunday through Wednesday. They can not supply a repair schedule of impacted crossings because work is contingent on interruption of rail traffic and crews usually only work for three-hour span, she says.

Crews must often stop to allow rail traffic to go through and then work again after the train has cleared.

"What we can tell you is the day the crossings will be effected; be aware of that, allow a little more time, choose an alternate route and soon we'll have better crossings," smiled Smith.

Tuesday work will continue on Stone Drive and Salty Bottom Road. Commuter are advised to leave early and find an alternate route. Now crews are paving and adjusting asphalt for smoother crossings on the line all the way to Gurley. Motorists are advised to travel slower over fresh asphalt along crossings.