Track maintenance closes roads

Track maintenance causes unexpected road closures

HOLT, Oct. 26, 2016—Replacing railroad ties and rebuilding crossings along the track line running through Holt and down U.S. 90 has caused unexpected area road closures.

CSX Transportation, the railroad owner, began rebuilding railroad crossings through Holt and the surrounding community last week.

“Work includes tearing out old crossties, installing new crossties and repaving the crossties with asphalt,” said Kristin Seay, CSX corporate communications, in an email response to questions.

As that work is being done, Holt roads crossing the railroad tracks have been closed. Closed are Cooper Lane, Summertime Drive, Holland Road and Galliver Cutoff.

“Cooper Lane and Summertime Drive are expected to be open by the end of the week,” Seay said. “Holland Road and Galliver Cutoff are scheduled to reopen next week.”

Of the three roads, Galliver Cutoff is a main thoroughfare that saves drive times between U.S. 90 and Florida 4 through Baker. Until the road is reopened, drivers traveling north and south will add 5.5 miles to an otherwise 4.5-mile trip.

The closures have caused some inconvenience to Holt residents and other services, such as school bus routes, trash pickup and mail delivery.

About about 40 miles of the daily mail delivery routes have been affected, said Rhonda Patterson of the Baker branch of the U.S. Post office serving the Holt community.

“We’ve had to change the [mail] route a little for the most efficient delivery of Holt’s three routes,” she said.

“We apologize for the temporary inconvenience these closures may cause and appreciate the community’s patience as we work as safely and swiftly as possible,” Seay said.

CSX operates nearly 21,000 miles of track in 23 states, the District of Columbia and provinces in Canada. CSX operates nearly 2,290 miles of track and maintains more than 2,600 public and private grade crossing in Florida.

“CSX replaces crossties across our 21,000 miles rail network every six-eight years, depending on the wear and tear associated with the volume of freight traveling over the tracks,” Seay said. “Maintaining railroad infrastructure is critical to preventing accidents and injuries and minimizing service disruptions.”

The transportation company spends more than $1 billion each year on improving and maintaining tracks, bridges, signals and other equipment, she said.

Based in Jacksonville, Fla., CSX is one of the nation’s leading transportation suppliers.

Stephanie Holcombe

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