DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — Many street crossings along the Norfolk Southern Railway route in Danville have been closed for rail maintenance.
This is putting some drivers on the road in a scramble, causing them to take alternate routes.
“Its shutdown survives, emergency services can’t get through, that’s one of my main concerns,” Mike Pollitt of Danville said.
Nine streets in Danville have been affected by this, and for Pollitt, simply leaving his house is difficult.
“Getting out of the house, just being able to leave, like the last couple days, I couldn’t even pull out of my driveway because the whole neighborhood was locked up,” Pollitt said.
Trying to get to the store is difficult to Pollitt. He said something should have been done sooner to alert people.
“The city maybe should have sent something out to all the residents in the city,” Pollitt said.
Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. said the city itself didn’t have much of a heads-up.
“We are doing a lot of major road work ourselves,” Williams said. “So, then you have our road work, which is closing roads off and then simultaneously, less than 24 hours’ notice, the railroad said ‘oh by the way were going to be closing these things down too.'”
He also said, we have no authority over it.”
The city is trying to help people while the work is going on, so they’ve created something on their website.
“There is an interactive map to help people see what rail crossings are closed,” Williams said.
The closures have also affected other services in the city.
“Because of various closings, our fire chief and our leadership team in the fire department has had to kind of reallocate which engines respond to which areas,” Williams said. “That way, we can be sure we get there in the fastest time.”
The crew working on the repairs is R3.
A spokesperson with Norfolk Southern Railway said they are one of the only groups in the country that do these projects.
When asked if the city has any control over when the railroad repairs are done, Williams said no because Congress regulates the railroad system, so it would be up to a congressional delegation to make changes.