The North Carolina Department of Transportation will hear suggestions on Aug. 11 on how to reconfigure railroad crossings near Goff Road to create a safer situation for drivers along Old U.S. Highway 52.
King City Manager Homer Dearmin said the meeting had been set up following a decision by the city to close the West School Street railroad crossing in June.
“When DOT came to the city council meeting to talk about West School Street, they committed in that meeting to have a public meeting to discuss the designing of the new Goff Street railroad crossing,” said Dearmin. “This meeting will be a drop-in style meeting in King City Hall. This is the chance for the public to say where they want this crossing moved to. If residents have any major concerns about the location they really need to come this meeting and share them.”
The city has been working with the county school board and the North Carolina Department of Transportation for several years to try to relocate the railroad crossing at Goff Road in order to cut down on the number of accidents at that intersection, but in order to move the crossing the city had to close an additional crossing.
School Board Chair Sonya Cox said the Goff Road intersection had a history of bad accidents, many involving young, inexperienced drivers from West Stokes High School.
North Carolina Department of Transportation Assistant District Engineer Steven Jones said his department had evaluated the intersection and determined that it did not warrant a stop light.
“The only solution that is reasonable is to relocate the crossing,” he said. “We have to operate by rules of the railroad. They were there first. They want a net reduction of crossings, so any moving of a crossing must be predicated by a net reduction.”
Jones said NCDOT had only drawn up a preliminary plan for where the relocated crossing would be constructed and said they would be open to suggestions from the council and the public.
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.