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Rockwell railroad crossing to close

By Jessie Burchette
jburchette@salisburypost.com
ROCKWELL ó A town that has escaped the drive to close railroad crossings is now in the sights of the N.C. Department of Transportation.
The state has notified town officials that the Shinn Street crossing has been identified for closing ó or signals, if the town is willing to pay.
The Rockwell Board of Aldermen will hold a courtesy hearing on Monday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Rockwell Town Hall at 202 E. Main St. to hear public comment on the issue.
In a memo to town officials, the Rail Division pointed out that there is another crossing ó N.C. 152 within .37 miles of the Shinn Street crossing.
Engineers point out that the at-grade crossing at N.C. 152 has gates and signals, providing greater safety to the motorists and train operators than the existing conditions at Shinn Street, which has cross bucks.
And engineers noted that the Shinn Street crossing is a hump crossing, which reduces the sight distance for motorists.
According to the state figures, the average daily traffic at the N.C. 152 crossing in 2006 was 6,200 vehicles per day. The Shinn Street crossing averaged 900 vehicles per day in 2003, the most recent data available.
In the memo, engineers suggest the Shinn Street traffic could be easily rerouted to Carolina Avenue.
The three options proposed for the Shinn Street crossing are:
– Close the crossing;
– Install gates and signal at the crossing, which would require the town to pay $1,290 for maintenance;
– Submit a letter to the state requesting the crossing be removed from the list for improvements and stay as is.
State officials are asking the town to provide an official statement on which option they prefer.
Sue Morton, town clerk, said all property owners in the vicinity of the Shinn Street crossing have been notified and asked to share their ideas or concerns.
The Shinn Street crossing is one of five rail crossings. The others include N.C. 152, Depot Street, Link Street and Emmanuel Church Road.
Although towns along the main rail corridor including Landis, China Grove and Kannapolis, have closed nearly a dozen crossings over the past decade, the state has not sought to close any crossings in Rockwell.
Contact Jessie Burchette at 704-797-4254.

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