The City of Orange has closed the railroad crossing where Barkins Avenue and 15th Street meet to go over to Bob Hall Rd. effective Monday, August 23. The closure is said to be permanent. The city recommends motorists who travel that area regularly need to plan an alternate route.
Public Works Director Jim Wolf for the City of Orange said the action Monday is tied to an agreement more than a decade old between the city, the Union Pacific, and TxDOT. The three parties agreed in about 2010 to close six crossings when the two crossings for the two new service roads of Interstate 10 were completed and opened to traffic.
The opening of the two service roads for Interstate 10 and the recent re-opening of Bob Hall Road both north and southbound at the interstate triggered the closing of the railroad crossing at Barkins and Fifteenth. This is the sixth and final crossing to be closed as agreed to by the city, the railroad, and the highway department over a decade ago.
KOGT Facebook page quickly had over 240 comments after posting the story, most of them against the closure. Mayor Larry Spears, who reminded us he was not in office when the Quiet Zone was approved, was also against the closure and said he would be working with council and City Manager Mike Kunst on a possible remedy.
Written by KOGT Radio