Seymour closing two more railroad crossings


Seymour officials are looking to close two more railroad crossings in the city to improve public safety.

The impacted crossings are those at West Seventh and South streets.

Mayor Craig Luedeman hopes by permanently closing the two crossings to vehicular traffic, the city will have an easier time getting approval from the railroad company for a pedestrian crossing from Jeffersonville Avenue into the new Crossroads Community Park in downtown Seymour.

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He also said the action will help the city when it comes time to build a railroad overpass southeast of Silgan Plastics and just north of East County Road 340N. That project is part of the city’s plans for the Burkart South bypass project.

The city council voted 6-0 Monday night to approve the two closings on first reading. Councilman Dave Earley was absent from the meeting.

A final vote will be taken at the Aug. 27 meeting.

Councilman Brian D’Arco introduced the ordinances. Originally, the Louisville & Indiana Railroad had requested the city close five crossings, D’Arco said.

The city closed the crossing at St. Louis and Indianapolis avenues in downtown Seymour in 2017. Others that were under consideration for closure were Fifth and Bruce streets along with South and Seventh streets.

Luedeman said the Louisville & Indiana Railroad is needing the crossings closed now because it is getting ready to realign the railroad track later this month so trains can move through the city faster and quieter.

That work will continue into September and move the track 5 feet to the east to take the bend out it, Luedeman said.

The railroad company has offered the city $75,000 to close the crossings, and the projects are eligible for funding through the state’s Local Trax matching grant program.

After talking to city engineer Nathan Frey, Luedeman said the city could get $30,000 or more from the state, for a total of $105,000 to close the crossings.

Because of the South Street crossing’s proximity to the Seymour Fire Department headquarters, there was some concern how it would impact the station. But Fire Chief Brad Lucas said he supports the closing.

It’s actually easier for the trucks to use the crossings at Bruce or Brown streets instead, he said. Closing the South Street crossing also could help free up some property to rebuild the fire station in the future, he added.

Council Oresident Jim Rebber said closing the crossings is a good idea.

“By taking those out, you have fewer places where accidents can happen,” he said.

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