Monday Dec 05 2011
Rocklin railroad crossings closing for repairs
By: Gloria Beverage, Placer Herald Editor
Tentatively scheduled for end of January
Union Pacific Railroad will be closing railroad crossings through Rocklin for three days at the end of January or early February. The closures will allow crews to make roadbed repairs and replace railroad ties. The closures will impact the Delmar Avenue and Sierra College Boulevard crossings as well as Americana Way, Midas Avenue and Rocklin Road. Union Pacific had originally planned to close the crossings from Dec. 19 through Dec. 21, but announced the work delay on Monday. The project, which started in Auburn on Dec. 3, is part of a $3.3 billion Union Pacific infrastructure investment. Union Pacific spokesperson Aaron Hunt indicated the track renewal crew (about 100 employees) is currently 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 ties in a day, which would be the equivalent of several miles of work, Hunt explained. He said the speed of the repair work could be affected by factors such as the condition of the wooden railroad ties and the amount of rock ballast that needs to be replaced underneath the track. The project also typically involves replacing existing railroad crossings with new concrete approaches, if necessary. 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. Union Pacific has been working with the Rocklin Police and Fire Departments to coordinate detours on streets as the work progresses. “Your local public safety departments are prepared for contingencies should an emergency occur during railroad crossing closures,” noted Rocklin Fire Chief Bill Mikesell. Mikesell and Rocklin Police Chief Ron Lawrence are advising residents to prepare for these closures by planning alternative routes. “While the railroad will make every effort to avoid as much inconvenience to local residents as possible, there will be times when these railroad crossings will not be accessible by the public,” Mikesell continued. -- Laura O’Brien contributed to this report.