Maintenance work on downtown Fayetteville CSX train tracks stirs concern
Posted February 21, 2019 6:13 p.m. EST
Updated February 22, 2019 11:19 a.m. EST
Fayetteville, N.C. — Railroad construction work that is underway in downtown Fayetteville has raised concern among some merchants and business owners because of road closures.
CSX is making repairs to its freight rail line that runs along Russell Street, which has led to the closure of several intersections that lead to the courthouse and center city.
The railroad has launched a project to replace railroad ties along the CSX track.
CSX Transportation operates several freight train rail lines in Fayetteville, and it's not unusual to hear engineers blowing the train horns in the downtown area just about any time of the day.
Instead of train horns blaring up and down Russell Street, however, noise from a railroad tie replacement machine is the new sound.
The machine rides along the track, lifts it and then stuffs a new tie in place.
The effort is a painstakingly slow process.
It began on Monday and stretches from South Eastern Boulevard up to Ray Avenue before curving around to Hay Street.
Many of the Russell Street intersections that cross the tracks were shutdown.
That meant people who wanted to cross over from the courthouse had second thoughts.
In addition, business owners who depend on the traffic flow crossing Russell Street say the construction is hurting their bottom line.
"They're killing business," said Tina Burgess of Consolidated Electrical Distributors. "Nobody ever tells us ahead of time. I came to work the other morning (and) part of the road is shut down. The next day you come, the road is shut down (the other) way (so) you never know what, from one day to the next, what they're going to do to us."
CSX officials said the work is critical to both the safety of motorists using the crossings and the trains that use the tracks.
Barring any weather delays, train officials say the work should be completed in the next two to five days.