BUCKHANNON – The railroad crossing on Route 20 near the Donut Shop will be closed for at least three days starting this Saturday, Aug. 22.
A&O Railroad General Manager Matt Reese said the crossing will be closed to improve the crossing surface.
“We’re working in partnership with the state of West Virginia, the Department of Highways,” Reese said. “They’ve provided funding to improve the crossing surface from the current asphalt to a better concrete surface.”
He said improving the asphalt has been in the works for about a year and should reduce the rattling and bumping as people cross the tracks.
“It’s actually something that we’re trying to do at several of our crossings with the cooperation of the state,” Reese said. “We just replaced the main road crossing for Route U.S. 119 near Philippi, West Virginia and this was the next crossing that was slated for this upgrade.”
The crossing will be closed beginning this Saturday Aug. 22 at 6 a.m. and will reopen Monday Aug. 24 by 5 p.m. – provided weather conditions cooperate.
“It’s mainly just looking at the traffic density of certain areas and seeing what fits in to the budget that’s available through the state to have funding available to make these upgrades,” Reese said.
A press release from the City of Buckhannon asked residents and visitors to use alternative routes, as no vehicles, bicycles or pedestrians will be permitted to travel over the crossing while it’s being resurfaced.
Alternative routes when entering Buckhannon from the west include the Main Street exit of U.S. Route 33 (Corridor H) and/or the Old Weston Road. Travelers are being asked to please use the Morton Avenue exit through North Buckhannon when entering Buckhannon from the east. The press release also said southbound traffic from Route 20 North will need to detour via either the Liggett Addition Road or Morton Avenue.
City of Buckhannon Public Works Director Jerry Arnold said the city has been receiving complaints about the jaggedness of the railroad crossing for seven or eight years.
“We’re going to get what we’ve wanted for years,” Arnold said earlier this week. “It’s probably the roughest railroad crossing in Upshur County, and that’s what many of the complaints we received regarding it were about.”
“It’s on a state right-of-way that’s owed by the railroad facility, so our hands were tied,” Arnold added. “We’re just glad to see something’s finally being done about it.”
Read the city’s press release about the crossing resurfacing here.