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Rail work causes confusion

By Nikki Scott
Photo Editor

January 24, 2013

Photo by Nikki Scott
Cars are unable to pass through the light at Prospect Road and Highway 711. A local resident brought a horse out to see what is going on.

Prospect Road and University Drive were closed on Jan. 14 and 15 due to preparation for a replacement rail to be installed in March.

In the morning on Jan. 15, a train was stalled on the track and caused a bit of confusion and concern. University police stood at the corner of Prospect and Highway 711 in front of Burger King directing traffic.

"It doesn't matter how long I've been standing here. Someone is not going to be paying attention and be confused," Officer Mark Singletary said.

Some drivers heading to Highway 711 on Prospect appeared to not know which way to turn once they realized they could not continue to the traffic light. They were directed to turn left onto Railroad Street before they approached the traffic light.

The rail is to be replaced from University Drive down to Union Chapel Road and East Railroad Street in Pembroke due to defects that were found during routine tests. There have been no accidents on the railroad, but some of the rails to be replaced were manufactured as far back as 1947. Other rails were manufactured in 1985 and as recently as 1994. The railway, owned by CSX Transportation out of Jacksonville, Fla., is scheduled to have the rails replaced beginning March 18.

CSX notified campus police they would be working on the rail the evening of Jan. 14, but the campus police department said they were unaware the work would continue into Jan. 15. Emails were sent out across campus on the afternoon of Jan. 15 to announce the change and the end of construction.

"Had we known, we would have told people," Director of Police and Public Safety Chief McDuffie Cummings said.

"Traffic may be stopped in the affected areas the entire week once construction begins in March.

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Updated: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
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