Iron Co. officials working to upgrade dangerous railroad crossings

Iron Co. officials working to upgrade dangerous railroad crossings

IRON COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Railroad crossings are common in Iron County, Missouri.

"We stop and look both ways like normal and, I mean, cross it with our hopes up," Middlebrook resident Jimmy Govreau said.

However, with as many crossings as there are, residents say, they're anything but safe.

In December 2015, Sheriff Roger Medley said an Amtrak train collided with a truck at a railroad crossing in Middlebrook in a deadly crash.

"[It was] very unfortunate," Medley said. "It was the first thing in the morning, a little rainy out and suddenly it was just there."

Medley said the crossing where that man died is one of their top priorities.

"They need to do something with it. Put some guards on it and some lights. Start saving people's lives," Govreau said.

County officials say that's the plan, starting with the crossing in Middlebrook and another crossing in Annapolis that's especially dangerous for tractor trailers. The trucks get high-centered and stuck on the tracks.

"Last time we had to get a crane come to lift the trucks off the tracks," Medley said.

At four other crossings, also on state-maintained roads, they're asking for at least a signal.

"MoDOT, like everyone else, has 'x' amount of dollars to do 'x' amount of work. So, it depends on where we rate on the food chain. We are hoping to maybe do one a year, it'd be wonderful," Medley said.

In the meantime, he reminds us all to be careful at any and all railroad crossings.

"If we don't do something, you know, what's a life worth?" Medley said.

Medley said they've already submitted a letter of their requests to MoDOT and met with them about the upgrades. He said MoDOT will review it all at the next budget meeting and get back with him in the next few months.

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