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Rail crossing repairs prompt frustrations, complaints from drivers blindsided by road closings

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Multiple rail crossings are being repaired on Fort Wayne's near southwest side, temporarily prompting road closures that leave drivers in a foul mood.
Rail crossing repairs forced closure of a part of Taylor Street in southwest Fort Wayne.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) - No one likes being forced to take detours to get around "Road Closed" signs.

But the irritation has gotten a little out of control for some drivers on the city's near southwest side.

City police say one driver went around barricades at a rail crossing upgrade Thursday night, leading to a collision with a slow-moving train.

The driver was able to get out before impact, but it was a dangerous situation.

Rail repairs are being done at several locations, making it hard for people to navigate around some road closings.

One of the areas where traffic is shut down is on an east-west stretch of Taylor Street.

You see cars and trucks approach the barricades, realize they can't get through, then they slowly make a U-turn before heading back the same way they came from.

Covington Road and Nuttman Avenue also have rail crossings that are blocked off.

Crews hired by Norfolk Southern Railway are stripping out damaged concrete and worn-out rails, then are installing new rails and a new concrete or asphalt deck for cars to drive over.

At the time of this report, the three closed crossings were expected to re-open in a day or two.

But three other rail crossings in the same part of town--one on Brooklyn Avenue, another on a different section of Nuttman Avenue, and one on busy Engle Road-- are set to close for a few days to allow for similar repairs at those locations.

Some drivers are struggling with the road closings.

"They've been closed off for a week and every time they close them off and open them up, they're just the same, almost as they were before," said Cynthia Hill.

"It is a lot frustration, because it's inconvenient," she said, referring to the roadblocks.

All of the rail crossing upgrades are expected to be completed inside city limits by around October 28th.

Jeff Neumeyer

Jeff Neumeyer is a reporter for WPTA.

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