Railroad track on US-431 receiving improvements

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Motorists should expect delays starting when traveling on East Meighan Boulevard/U.S. Highway 431 starting Wednesday, March 13, as the track crossing surface is set to be reconstructed with precast concrete panels and the railroad signals will be upgraded.

“This railroad crossing is on a major thoroughfare in Gadsden, so we were glad to help obtain the funding needed for this project to improve drivability and safety for Gadsden residents, visitors, and businesses,” said Gadsden Mayor Craig Ford. “I appreciate the railroad company and ALDOT working together to find a solution for everyone involved.”

The City of Gadsden wanted to improve the rideability of the crossing and obtained a Rail Highway Crossing Hazard-Elimination grant, which covers 90 percent of the cost with federal Section 130 funds. The city is providing a 10 percent match. The total project cost is estimated at $1,067,128.

ALDOT Guntersville Area County Transportation Engineer Travis Kilgore said that when U.S. Highway 431 was resurfaced in late 2022, ALDOT evaluated the devices at the railroad between Sixth and Seventh streets north.

“Our diagnostic review determined that the signals at the crossing needed to be upgraded,” Kilgore said.

OmniTRAX, operator of the Alabama & Tennessee River Railway, will reconstruct the southbound track crossing first. The southbound lanes will be closed and traffic shifted to the northbound lanes, which will be temporarily set up for two-way traffic. On March 17, the southbound lanes will reopen, and the northbound lanes will be closed. Traffic will be shifted to the southbound roadway for reconstruction of the northbound crossing.

Construction is anticipated to be completed and all lanes reopened on Friday, March 22.

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