cloudy
Thursday May 28th, 2015 12:20PM

Hall commissioners say no to public hearing for railroad crossing

By B.J. Williams News Director
GAINESVILLE - A dangerous railroad crossing on Tumbling Circle in the Oakwood area will remain open, despite calls from both Norfolk Southern and the Georgia Department of Transportation to close it.

The crossing has been the site of five fatal accidents in the last decade, but Hall County Commissioners said at a work session Monday closure of the road is impractical. Commissioner Billy Powell pointed out the crossing is used by more than 400 motorists each day.

Commissioners have discussed closure of the road in the past. They have also discussed building a bridge as an alternative way to travel over the railroad tracks, but the least expensive construction estimate for a bridge is $3.5 million.

Commissioners said they don't have that kind of money in the budget, and they said the two entities demanding closure of the road have not offered any financial help.

"We're always concerned about safety issues," said Hall County Administrator Randy Knighton. "But, the commission has heard this item previously, through two public hearings before...and are still in the same place. Without some type of commitment that we would be able to open up that crossing again, they don't believe it's prudent to move forward."

To that end, a public hearing that had been advertised for Thursday's commission meeting will not take place.

Hall County Public Work Director Ken Rearden confirmed that GDOT has indicated the state could make a move to condemn the county-owned road; however, he did not have a timetable for such a move.

"The road has been open for decades [ever since] the road's been platted," said Rearden. "You know, it's just going to remain a bad, unsafe crossing at this point in time."
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
US stocks post sixth straight year of gains
U.S. stocks ended a strong 2014 with moderate declines Wednesday.
4:43PM ( 4 months ago )
Palestinians push ahead in pursuit of war crimes charges against Israel
Stung by a resounding defeat in the U.N. Security Council, the Palestinians announced Wednesday that they joined the International Criminal Court to pursue war crimes charges against Israel.
1:57PM ( 4 months ago )
Business News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 4 months ago )
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 4 months ago )
Sheriff: Man shot 2 on I-85 because he wanted car
A 22-year-old man shot two people who stopped to give him a ride on Interstate 85 in South Carolina on Christmas Eve because he wanted their car to drive to Georgia, a sheriff said Wednesday.
5:21PM ( 4 months ago )
Local/State News
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 4 months ago )
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 4 months ago )
Conviction of Putin foe sets off protest in Moscow
President Vladimir Putin's chief political foe was convicted along with his brother on Tuesday in a fraud case widely seen as a vendetta by the Kremlin, triggering one of Russia's boldest anti-government demonstrations in years.
6:03PM ( 4 months ago )
Politics
US jobless aid applications rose last week; total still low
WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, though the overall level remains low and points to a healthy job market.Weekly applications increased 7,000 to a seasonally adj...
8:57AM ( 3 hours ago )
NE Ga.'s jobless rate drops in April; Gainesville metro has lowest rate in state
The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday morning that the unemployment rate for Northeast Georgia dropped for the month of April, and once again, the Gainesville Metro posted the lowest jobless rate of any metro in the state of Georgia.
By AccessWDUN staff
5:31AM ( 6 hours ago )
New federal rules on stream protection hailed, criticized
New EPA rules designed to better protect small streams, tributaries, wetlands and drinking water are being criticized by Republicans and farm groups.
5:00AM ( 7 hours ago )
Homeowners clean up in Texas; death toll climbs to 21
HOUSTON (AP) — Homeowners dragged soggy carpet to the curb and mopped up coffee-colored muck Wednesday after a barrage of storms and floods in Texas and Oklahoma left at least 21 people dead and 11 ot...
11:09PM ( 13 hours ago )
Gainesville police: Alleged sexual assailant in custody
A Lithia Springs man is in custody for reportedly sexually assaulting a Gainesville woman.
4:50PM ( 19 hours ago )