Damaged railroad crossing in Suffolk a concern for drivers 

Posted at 1:14 PM, May 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-17 17:22:28-04

SUFFOLK, Va. – Driving along East Washington Street and Portsmouth Boulevard in Suffolk is becoming a headache for some people.

Their issue – the railroad crossing located in the Pierce Park neighborhood.

‘You never know when those studs will pop into your tire and bust your tire," Oakdale, Pierce Park, Magnolia Civic League President Patricia Knight said. “It’s got boards that are popping up. It could pluck something under the bottom of your car.”

Margaret Jones told News 3 she has lived near the crossing since 1959.

She said the crossing is the worst it has ever been.

“It’s really bad. The way it’s going now if I don’t go another way, it’s gonna tear my small car all to pieces," Jones said.

Wednesday night, members of the Oakdale, Pierce Park, and Magnolia Civic Leagues went before city council to address their concerns.

“We have been trying to get city council to get CSX to fix this crossing," Knight said.

League members say bolts are sticking up and boards are coming apart.

Council member Leroy Bennett said the council is well aware of these concerns.

He said the council has set aside money in their budget to get the site fixed.

They’re now waiting to hear back from CSX to start the project.

Just six months ago, the crossing was fixed but it didn’t last.

"That’s the problem, you keep temporary. We don’t need a temporary fix," Knight said.

Bennett says they’re planning to replace the wooden ties at the site with cement ties, which will be a permanent fix.

Laura Phelps, CSX Media Manager sent us the following statement:

"CSX is committed to working with the city of Suffolk to address concerns over rough crossings. We are coordinating closely with the city to repave the Washington Street crossing this year, once a construction agreement and a work schedule is determined and finalized. CSX engineering experts also will examine the Suburban Drive crossing this week to determine if temporary repairs are necessary until the crossing can be completely repaved."

Plans are to start working on the repairs in either late summer or fall.