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Railroad crossing repairs begin soon

By: Gloria Beverage, Placer Herald editor
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Union Pacific Railroad is planning to close two Rocklin railroad crossings later this month to make repairs on the roadbeds and replace railroad ties. The Midas Avenue and Rocklin Road crossings are tentatively scheduled for closure from Feb. 16 through Feb. 22. Crews were scheduled to work on tracks in the Newcastle area on Wednesday, moving into Penryn and Loomis today and Friday. According to RoadSafe Traffic Systems, the Americana Way crossing will be shut down at 6 a.m. today with an anticipated reopening at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. Residents in that area can use Del Mar Avenue to get to and from Pacific Street during the road closure. Crews expect to close the Sierra College Boulevard crossing on Monday, reopening it on Feb. 21. The Delmar Avenue crossing will close on the same date, but will likely reopen on Feb. 22. The upgrades, which started in Auburn on Dec. 3, are part of a $3.3 billion Union Pacific infrastructure investment. Union Pacific spokesperson Aaron Hunt indicated that about 100 employees are working on the Placer County project. Through an automated process using gantry cranes positioned on top of rail cars, crew members are able to replace up to 5,000 wood ties in a day, which would be the equivalent of several miles of work, Hunt explained in an earlier interview. Speed of the project could be affected by several factors, such as the condition of the existing railroad ties and the amount of rock ballast that needs to be replaced underneath the track. Existing railroad crossings may be replaced with new concrete approaches, if needed. According to RoadSafe Traffic Systems, the upgrades will allow trains to operate more smoothly, quietly and efficiently and will benefit the community by shortening the time spent waiting for trains to clear the crossings.