Both of Grovetown’s railroad crossings will be closed for repair work that will essentially cut the city in half for up to two days this week.
CSX plans repairs and renovations to the tracks at the Robinson Avenue and Katherine Street crossings, Grovetown Mayor George James said.
“They have to close both crossings at the same time to do what they need to do,” James said, adding that city officials tried to talk CSX leaders into closing only one at a time. “CSX won’t do it any other way. We talked big, all but cried.”
The CSX railroad draws a crescent path through the city, dividing the southeast section from other areas. The tracks cross only two streets within the city limits.
The Robinson Avenue crossing will be closed beginning Tuesday through Friday. Katherine Street crossing will be closed Thursday and Friday. The Katherine Street crossing also was closed for two days for repairs about two weeks ago.
The project is significant rehabilitation of the track including replacing some railroad ties, and resurfacing like reshaping the track base to improve stability and drainage, CSX spokesman Gary Sease said.
Because the work is a continuous process involving more than a small section of track, it requires both crossings to be closed at the same time, Sease said.
“It is going to be an inconvenience and we apologize for that,” Sease said. “If everything goes according to schedule and the weather cooperates, we should be able to button that up after one day of work.”
The closings mean motorists will need to leave the city to travel from one side to the other. Grovetown Department of Public Safety Chief Gary Owens recommends that motorists follow detour signs to use Newmantown Road to Parham Road to Gordon Highway or Wrightsboro Road to Jimmie Dyess Parkway.
“Just take a little extra time, be a little extra patient,” Owens said. “And rest assured we have both sides of the tracks covered. You should not see any interruption in (public safety) services.”
The trouble, Owens said, will be school bus routes. Buses may be running late due to the detours.
Grovetown’s City Planner Frank Neal said that a study recently completed for the planned improvement to Robinson Avenue show that 15,000-16,000 vehicles travel that road every day. Many of those motorists are headed to Fort Gordon.
“We’re making sure everybody knows,” Buz Yarnell, a fort spokesman said. The closures are being announced at meetings and on signs all over the installation.