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August 8, 2013

Railroad company to fix rough 18th Street crossing

A line of vehicles slows its pace, each one bracing for the strong rumble created by the rotting ties of the sinking railroad tracks that cross the street.

Some do their best to drive off to the side in order to avoid the ruts completely. Those unfamiliar with the area or who happen to forget about the crossing’s condition coast through obliviously, risking damage to their vehicles’ wheel alignment and sometimes contributing to the collection of hubcaps often found in the grass to the side.

This familiar scene on 18th Street in Logansport at the railroad crossing just north of Main Street will be ending soon, say city officials, as the company that owns the railroad has pledged to have the intersection smoothed over with new tracks in the next month.

“Those tracks will knock your teeth out,” said Kent Roberts, who lives near the crossing.

When told about the plans to improve the crossing, he said it would provide for quite a change.

“I might have to back up and drive back over them to make sure,” he joked.

The crossing was brought up at a recent Logansport City Council Finance Committee meeting, where council members discussed a road improvement project on 18th Street. Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin said he had received word from the company that owns the railroad that it would be fixing the tracks in the next 30 days.

The line is owned by the Toledo, Peoria and Western Railway, which was acquired by RailAmerica in 1999, which in turn was purchased last year by Genesee & Wyoming Inc.

Dan Williams, superintendent of the Logansport Department of Public Works, said the department continues to get about 20 to 25 complaints a month regarding the tracks. Until the railroad company takes responsibility, all he said he and his staff can do is patch the tracks with asphalt.

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