DOT to discuss closing, improving 26 railroad crossings
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)– The NC DOT wants your help to improve railroad crossings throughout the city of Wilmington.
At two meetings this week, DOT officials are asking for the community’s opinion on several proposals.
From downtown to small communities, railroad tracks cover the Port City.
The railroad crossing on King Street is the only access to the Love Grove community.
“Only one way in and out,” homeowner Lynda McMillan said.
McMillan says she’s had safety concerns about the tracks for years.
“Many people have just made it across the tracks as the train was coming,” McMillan said.” Lots of people have almost gotten hit by the train.”
In 2013 a train derailed near that crossing overnight, trapping their community for hours.
“We could not get out,” McMillan said. “There were about 6 cars that derailed and we understood there was a very poisonous gas in them.”
Since then Mcmillan has been asking the city for help.
“Lives are in danger,” McMillan said.
In February, the city announced plans to build a new access, but that still has a ways to go. Now King Street is on the DOT’s radar to add crossing signals and minor rail improvements.
“I think it’s a tremendous idea,” McMillan said.
DOT officials are proposing maps that improve 20 crossings across Wilmington and close 6 others:
South 4th St
Hooper St and Martin St
South 8th St
South 10th St
South 6th St at Martin St
Whether it’s the Love Grove community or the rest of the Wilmington community, the DOT wants your opinion to get improvement projects rolling.
DOT spokeswoman Nancy Horne says right now there is no funding for these projects. Horne says that is why they want the public’s input.
Public Meetings will be held Monday, May 11 from 5-7 p.m. at Council Chambers and Tuesday, May 12 from 5-7 p.m. at Sunset Park Baptist Church.