AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - A problematic railroad crossing in Richmond County is getting a major upgrade. Augusta commissioners approved $25,000 for new types of warning devices for the Olive Road Overpass.
The City of Augusta’s Traffic Engineering Department say the bridge that CSX owns, which is 10.5 foot high, is too low. CSX wants to shut it down because trucks heading from the north fail to adhere to existing traffic signage. At least one deadly crash and others with injuries have been reported there.
At least seven trucks crashed into it just this year. The city’s engineers posed three solutions.
They estimate it’ll cost $14,000 for four asphalt speed bumps, $10,000 for 4 LED signs that flash several hundred feet before drivers get to the bridge and $1,500 for 10 street signs (all truck detour).
“I was really hoping that the railroad would help fund some of that, since that is their bridge. But Augusta’s taking proactive stance trying to get some solutions," said District 8 Commissioner Brandon Garrett.
Augusta’s Assistant Traffic Director John Ussery said, “The way that railroads are designed, the tracks can’t be very steep...they (CSX) said it wasn’t possible to raise the bridge. They did say if we were to close it and detour all traffic they’d give us some funding to try to improve some of the other railroad crossings nearby to help with that process."
However, that’s the last option - because residents said they don’t want the inconvenience of a permanent close. Engineers said they’re not at that point yet, although they can’t promise that it won’t happen - especially if trucks keep crashing into the bridge.