President Street railroad crossing to be improved; work to close roadway for weekend

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Credit: Richard Burkhart/Savannah Morning News

Credit: Richard Burkhart/Savannah Morning News

The days of going airborne over the President Street railroad crossing near the Truman Parkway will soon come to an end. The area will be closed starting Friday night for rail and slope repairs.

The work will fix the degree of slope leading up to the rail crossing and down the other side. The crossing will close at 7 p.m. Friday and WATCO, the short line railroad operator, anticipates re-opening the road by 5 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 25.

According to Joe Shearouse Jr., director of policy and external affairs for the City of Savannah, a number of conditions including increased traffic, soil conditions and general lack of maintenance have led to problems at the crossing.

"The good thing about changing that slope is that it's going to fix the heavy deterioration that has happened over the past decades where we patch it, and it'd be torn up in a year or a few months later,” he said.

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Credit: City of Savannah

Credit: City of Savannah

“So this is a sustainable solution for fixing the crossing, so when you hit it you don't fly in the air as has happened in the past.”

Along with what is owned by the railroad, the crossing also serves as a jurisdictional boundary with the City of Savannah to the west and Chatham County to the east, so the project required the three entities to work together, Shearouse said.

The city and county portion of the project will cost just over $40,000 with the two municipalities splitting the total. WATCO’s general contractor will be handling the roadwork.

Katie Nussbaum is the city and county government reporter for the Savannah Morning News. Contact her at knussbaum@savannahnow.com. Twitter: KnussSMN

This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: President Street railroad crossing to be improved; work to close roadway for weekend