By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE – The Michigan Department of Transportation has given the city and Grand Trunk Western Railroad 12 months to complete railroad crossing repairs at the Oak and Vinewood street crossings.
City Engineer Mark Kowalewski reported at the May 22 City Council meeting that a report dated March 28 lists needed repairs agreed upon based on inspection by the city and railroad. Within a year of the report date documentation and photos showing the completed work must be submitted.
At the Oak Street crossing, three paved lanes run east and west at 25 mph, with about 2,400 vehicles crossing per day. Two main railroad tracks intersect the roadway at a 75 degree angle. One track has 20 trains a day moving at 40 mph, while the other track has two trains per day at 20 mph.
The Diagnostic Study Team Review found multiple loose and worn failing timbers within the crossing surfaces, which Grand Trunk Railway will repair. The city will replace the roadway approaches to the crossing. The DSTR suggested that GTR and the city do the work concurrently to minimize disruption.
The Vinewood Street crossing, with 500 vehicles per day crossing over two lanes, has two trains per day on one track at 25 mph and about 10 trains on the other track traveling at 40 mph. The road crosses the tracks at a 75 degree angle.
The DSTR team found the Vinewood crossing has a deteriorating asphalt rubber crossing, and the roadway approaches need to be resurfaced. The railroad will repair the approaches over the tracks while the city repairs the traffic approaches before the tracks. The team recommended these repairs also be done simultaneously to minimize disruption.
Mayor Joseph Peterson expressed frustration that the city could not fill in ruts closer to the rails.
“The railroad is responsible for the railroad track and one foot outside of the rails,” Kowalewski said.
Kowalewski said Oak and Vinewood are city streets, so Wyandotte is responsible for the roads, whereas the Northline crossing is a county road, and they would have to request an inspection for MDOT to order repairs.
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at [email protected])