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Railroad fixing four rough crossings

Motorists will have an easier ride over four railroad after work this week by the NCDOT and Blue Ridge Railroad.

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“We’re partnering with the NCDOT repaving some of the approaches to the crossings on about four crossings there in Hendersonville, just trying to make the approach and the crossings themselves a little smoother for the motorists,” said Blue Ridge Railroad general manager Darl Farris.

Crews were scheduled to smooth out the  crossing on Highland Lake Road on Wednesday after first posting a sign that the work would be done on Tuesday. The other crossings are on Brooklyn Avenue, Roper Road and West Blue Ridge Road.

“It will probably be a work in progress for the next four days,” Farris said Tuesday morning. “There’s four crossings and each one of those crossings takes about one day to complete. Obviously, there will be some alternative routes but we just ask that they be cautious as they approach those locations and be careful for the men that are working on the tracks.”

The work on the Highland Lake Road crossing was a long time coming.

Mayor Bob Staton wrote a letter several years ago asking Southern Railway to fix the bone-jarring crossing. Since then Watco, a Kansas-based shortline freight company, bought the line, which it operates here as Blue Ridge Railroad.

Farris praised the NCDOT for its help on the four crossings.

“We’re certainly grateful for their help in paving the crossings,” he said. “They really are the ones that handle the majority of traffic management. The railroad is just there really to work on the portion of the crossings between tracks. We’re grateful that the state of North Carolina is willing to partner with us and try to make things more durable and enjoyable for the general public.”