Church Hill, TN: Park plans to founder on level crossing costs?

22 Jul

In 2014, the city of Church Hill purchased 65+ acres, accessed via a private level crossing for a new public park. Now, the costs of creating a public right-of-way over the railway are emerging. Norfolk SouthernRailroad’s (NS)position is that the city will need to agree to the closure of another level crossing within the city as well as meeting the costs of upgrading the access to the park.

If the city fathers will agree to the Fairview Avenue level crossing then, NS would contribute USD 35,000 towards the cost of elimination, with Tennessee’s Department of Transportation adding a further USD 7,500. Unless this closure is agreed, NS are unlikely to agree to any change of status of the crossing. Even with agreement to the change, the city will need to stump-up in the region of USD 400,000-450,000 as automatic half barrier controls will be required.

According to reports, Norfolk Southern would contribute $35,000 toward closing the Fairview Crossing, while TN Dept. of Transportation (TDOT) would match it with $7,500. That would give Church Hill $42,500 to use toward the estimated $400-450,000 price tag required to install the Hollston Mills Crossing. A second condition of the agreement calls for installation of automatic signals, at Church Hill’s expense.

Meanwhile, the park is very firmly on hold.

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