Neighbors frustrated with road blocks, detours along railroad lines

Neighbors frustrated with road blocks, detours along railroad lines


by TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte

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Posted on January 23, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Updated Saturday, Oct 12 at 1:01 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- East Charlotte neighbors are frustrated over a handful of road closures and detours at CSX railroad crossings.

At first Blake Ramsey didn't have a problem with it.  After all, he says CSX crews perform repair work every couple of years and it typically only takes a couple of days.

Now, he's just plain frustrated.

"I think they're working on the tenth day now.  I don't even think it is close,” Ramsey said.

Rama Road is blocked at the railroad crossing. Thermal Road is blocked at the railroad crossing. Sharon Amity Road will be blocked at the railroad crossing starting Wednesday, according to the Charlotte Department of Transportation.

"You have three consecutive stops in a row and you have a ton of neighborhoods and schools here,” Ramsey said.

Those three roads just happen to be his main routes around town.  Dropping off and picking his kids up at school is no longer a quick trip.

"Now instead of it being roughly 15 to 20 minutes total, I'm spending over an hour going back and forth and that's taking a lot out of my day and let alone the impact on commuters trying to go back and forth and trying to figure their way out,” Ramsey said.

NBC Charlotte saw several drivers turning around at blocked railroad crossings.

Drivers familiar with the area know where to go, but Ramsey says some drivers who aren't familiar end up lost and adding extra traffic on typically quiet side streets.

"They're cutting through the neighborhoods trying to figure out where to go."

According to CDOT, the Sharon Amity Road closure date changed due to bad weather.

Ramsey thinks wet weather caused delays at the other locations, since it's all part of the same railroad line.

He hopes the next time repairs are needed here, the roads blocked and detours are staggered.  CDOT says the Sharon Amity Road block is expected to end Friday.

Ramsey says he will believe it when he sees it.

CSX says it expects two of the crossings to reopen by Thursday and added that they ran into weather problems and an asphalt shortage for their repair work.