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Marshfield Public Works Votes to Leave Maple Avenue Intersection Open

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 -- 11:16 AM

(Liz Welter, Marshfield News Herald) -Despite the state Office of the Commissioner of Railroads advising city officials to temporarily close the Maple Avenue intersection with the railroad tracks, the Marshfield Board of Public Works voted Tuesday night to leave the crossing open.

According to the Marshfield News Herald, there were three train and vehicle crashes at the intersection from December through February. All crashes were the result of driver error. The first crash, Dec. 20, resulted in injuries to the car?s driver. The remainder had no injuries reported.

State and federal government officials and Canadian National Railroad representatives met with city officials March 19 at which time the OCR ?strongly suggested? the city implement a temporary closure of the crossing to assess whether it should be permanently closed.

The city has modified the crossing signal lights so that southbound traffic has a green light for longer than oncoming traffic, which is to prevent a vehicle from being in the zone where it is in conflict with the train. The city has allocated the funds to buy additional equipment to install, which will allow the lights to function efficiently.

If the railroad commission orders the crossing closed, the city can petition for a hearing, which will be a quasi-judicial process.

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