Pothole problem plagues Hopewell railroad crossing

Updated: Oct. 31, 2017 at 1:23 PM EDT
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HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) - A Hopewell man called 12 On Your Side about a pothole problem he say has been plaguing a busy railroad crossing for two decades.

David Harrelson has lived in Hopewell for more than 20 years, and crosses the tracks on Winston Churchill Drive near Langston Park Drive every day.

"I have been from New York all the way down to Florida, and this is the worst one that I've seen," said Harrelson.

He says over the years the crossing, and craters, have been getting worse and caused major damage to cars passing over them.

"I have lost two hub caps. I ran over something yesterday that I'm not quite sure what it was," Harrelson said.

He says the potholes keep getting bigger, forcing drivers slow down. Some drivers even come to a complete stop to maneuver around them. Harrelson is worried that could cause an accident.

"That is just about necessary if you don't want to have your car re-aligned every other week," he said.

Hopewell's Department of Public Work says any road within 50 feet of the track falls to the railroad company to maintain.

There's a pile of rock sitting beside the tracks, but Harrelson says they've been there for months.

He'd like to see some progress made before someone gets hurt.

"It's a hazard to the citizens, to the people that ride up and down this road, thousands of vehicles every day," Harrelson said.

In a statement, spokesman Rob Doolittle said CSX working with the city, and they hope the make repairs by the end of the year.

"CSX is coordinating closely with the city of Hopewell to schedule maintenance work at the Winston Churchill Drive grade crossing," he said. "The road will temporarily close to allow CSX crews to replace the crossties and repave the crossing with asphalt, which will provide a smooth surface for drivers. Weather permitting, we expect to schedule this work before the end of the year, and the project should take about three days to complete. Maintenance work like this helps maintain the safety of both motorists and train crews and is critical to sustaining a reliable rail network for our freight customers."

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