Pell City community discusses future of railroad crossing

By Emily Luxen  
Pell City, AL (WBRC) - Pell City residents opposed to a railroad crossing closing near their neighborhood voiced their opinions to city leaders.

The Pell City Council hosted a public hearing on the possibility of closing the railroad crossing at the intersection of First Avenue and 20th Street South.
Residents said if it is shut down it would limit access to their community.

"It's the easiest and safest crossing for me. That's why I use it most of the time," said Pell City resident Brenda Hearn.

If the crossing is closed, residents said they would be forced to use the 19th Street South entrance to their neighborhood, which they don't prefer.  They said the road is bad and can damage your car.

"I've been here since 1981, and i've probably gone on 19th street about 10 times," said Pell City resident James Davis, "I just don't use 19th street."

Pell City Mayor Bill Hereford says Norfolk Southern contacted the city about closing the crossing. He said the company is offering the city $30,000 if they accept the offer. He said he believes Norfolk Southern is trying to consolidate crossings across the country.

"Here in Pell City, we have a crossing at 22nd Street, 20th Street, and 19th Street, so the railroad's reasoning is this is a good place to eliminate one of those crossings," said Mayor Hereford.

Hereford said the City Council took into effect everything residents said about the idea, and they will hold another public hearing before making a final decision on the closing.

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