BERLIN – After a meeting on Monday involving town officials and State Highway Administration and Maryland & Delaware Railroad Company representatives, arrangements have been made to deal with problems generated by the new railroad crossings in town.
At least week’s Mayor and Council meeting, Public Works Director Mike Gibbons brought it to the council’s attention that there were issues with the crossings at Broad St. and Old Ocean City Blvd. Additionally, Sam West, a resident of Berlin, presented a petition with 74 signatures asking the town to intercede with the railroad. West stated that the crossing at Broad St. was too rough and much higher than the previous version.
As of Monday’s meeting, the railroad has agreed to smooth out the crossing at Broad St. The crossing at Old Ocean City Blvd. falls under the acceptable guidelines for height and the railroad won’t likely be funding any changes there. However, Mayor Gee Williams said that the town would be willing to help pay for any action taken to smooth out that crossing.
“The boulevard crossing is within the allowable scale…but we’re trying to make it nice,” Williams said. “I think it’s appropriate the town helps. We’re talking a very modest amount.”
As far as the Broad St. crossing is concerned, the cost of leveling that will rest solely with the railroad.
“On Broad St. [the crossing] is going to be milled out 30 feet from the rails in either direction,” said Gibbons. “They’ll put in a full one-and-a-half-inch wedge at Broad St. that will make it a non-issue.”
One other area that received attention was the Main St. crossing. However, it was determined that there won’t be any trouble on that front.
“When the Main St. crossing goes back in, it won’t be an issue,” Gibbons said.
As it stands, Williams is optimistic about resolving all problems with the crossings with a minimum of effort and time.
“I felt very good about the meeting,” he said. “It’s a partnership. Everyone has a different responsibility but they all work well together.”
When asked if the state might be persuaded to help take the cost of any work needed at Old Ocean City Blvd., Williams said it didn’t look like the state would get involved. “The state has no money,” he said.
Currently, all rail work is on schedule to be completed by mid-December, including any changes to the crossings.