City puts up new signs at railroad crossing after News 12 exposes danger

By: Diane Cho
By: Diane Cho

It's a dangerous crossing that's a hazard to drivers, but no one seems to be willing to take permanent responsibility for it.

The city, the railroad company, even the Department of Transportation all say the little crossing is not their problem.

We told you about this dangerous railroad crossing Monday night on News 12 at 11, and Tuesday night new signs were up.

It's located on Mike Padgett Highway just before the Burke County line.

There's a lot of finger pointing going on.

The city says they understand the safety concerns, but there was nothing they could do about it--even though they own the road, they don't have jurisdiction to go in and put extra barriers up until the street has been re-named.

A new sign sits at the ungraded crossing on Mike Padgett Highway.

News 12's story on this part of the tracks showed how dangerous this is--with a big drop-off where people's cars had gotten stuck on the tracks.

But just one day later, we found a truck adding an extra barrier to the crossing, with a crew rushing to get the job done.

"The dump truck that was dumping pieces of asphalt here, I guess that was their way of saying, 'Well that'll work just as good'," says Alesia Logan, who lives nearby.

But will it?

Neighbors don't think so.

"They need to have a sign with a flashing yellow light that says 'caution, road closed'," says Logan.

"All that's going to do is get somebody hurt," says neighbor John Jenkins.

But it wasn't until News 12 investigated that the city finally put up a sign. Neighbors say they'd gone without one for almost a year.

Diane Cho asked Jenkins, "Were you surprised they came out here so quickly after we were out here?"

"No," Jenkins replied. "Somebody's trying to C.Y.A."

"What do you mean?"

"Cover your..."

So what took them so long?

How did something this dangerous fall between the cracks?

Both the Department of Transportation and City Engineering tell News 12 that Norfolk Southern took out the crossing...but they didn't put up any permanent barriers.

The city needs a petition from neighbors in order to put up a barrier.

People who live here say they'll do it if that's what it takes.

"Even though I have trouble sometimes walking, I'm willing to walk, up the hill, up and down, house to house to get signatures," says Logan.

A city traffic engineer we spoke with says he'd like to go straight to commissioners himself to ask them to put something permanent up.

Meanwhile, it sounds like a case of driver beware.


Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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