DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) - There's a railroad crossing on Highway 20 in Decatur that motorists say is not only driving them crazy but tearing up their cars! To be honest, we've lost track of how many viewers have complained about it.
It's one of the areas we get the most complaints about. This is Highway 20 in Morgan County. Down that way is Hillsboro and Lawrence County. Right here at this next traffic light, that's Highway 67 or the Beltline in Decatur. And this is the railroad track that crosses Highway 20. It's a very rough crossing, as you can hear from some of the trucks going over in the background here. As a matter of fact, in just the short period of time we've been out here today, we've seen two or three vehicles go over it a little too fast and their rear wheels actually leave the ground.
You can spot the drivers who are familiar with the crossing, they slow to a crawl. Especially those on the East bound side. The crossing on the other side of the highway doesn't seem quite as bad. We noticed the crossing seems to have deteriorated to the point now that even the train rails give a little under the weight of so many cars and trucks that pass over each day. It's more pronounced as the heavier trucks cross the rails.
We watched as a slow moving freight train backed across the intersection and heard what to us seemed like an unusual noise coming from the track itself. Turned out to be from the point where two pieces of rail are joined together. After the train had passed we observed a piece that binds the rails together. The bolts are so lose you can twist them by hand. Lying around we found no less than a half dozen railroad spikes that at one time secured the rails to the wooden ties.
But back to the crossing, motorists tell us an unsuspecting driver could lose an oil pan or damage their suspension crossing here too quickly. At the least, it's definitely a shock absorber test site.
So we contacted the Alabama Department of Transportation and they tell us they're well aware of the problem. In fact, their statement reads they're working jointly with Norfolk Southern to expedite improvements at two railroad crossings on Highway 20. No word on how quickly the repairs will be made, just know your complaints have not fallen on deaf ears.
We promise to stay on top of this and let you know when work is to begin on these projects because it could mean traffic delays in those area while repairs are being made.
Remember if there's a road or traffic problem driving you crazy, just CLICK HERE and let us know about it. We want to take action and get results for you.