“I think we’ve been very fortunate ... we’re running 41 trains a day over Columbia Street crossing on average,” Miller said. “There will come a time if we don’t close the crossing that something very bad could happen.”
Means later said that the Columbia Street crossing could see as many as 50 to 60 trains on a busy day.
City officials and Norfolk Southern have discussed keeping a pedestrian crosswalk open on the crossing, since many people in the area make the trek by foot to businesses located on U.S. 27.
Pedestrians would have to watch for trains closely, as the crossing’s signals wouldn’t be at the crossing should vehicle traffic be shut down.
Miller said during the public meeting that a Department of Transportation traffic study on the crossing from 1994 stated that an average of 700 vehicles cross the track there daily. That number, Miller said, is no doubt a low one since Somerset has grown in the 18 years since the study was done.
Girdler said the closure would go into effect by mid-February if the council chooses to pass the resolution on Monday.