The City of Wood River will close a railroad crossing to make way for high speed rail. The City Council voted 5-0 last night to close the crossing at Evans Avenue in the city's "Little Italy" neighborhood south of Illinois Route 143. The road actually crosses six railroad tracks, but closing the road should not be a major issue for the city.
The council heard from city manager Jim Schneider who stated the upgrades needed at the crossing would be fairly costly and it would be easier to close it. Fire Chief Steve Alexander said crews typically do not use the crossing if they have to respond to an emergency to avoid possibly being stopped by a train on one of the half dozen tracks. Instead, they use the overpass on 143. The tracks will still be redone to make way for high speed rail, but will not have to factor in motor vehicle traffic.