You Can Easily Pop A Tire On This Superior Railroad Crossing
This railroad crossing has been horrible for years. Yes, literally years. Is there a reason that this railroad crossing hasn't been fixed? There's a sign that's been placed there that says bump, but it's a lot more than a bump. I know a couple of people who have bent the rim of their car wheel causing them to get a flat tire. They also are then on the hook for a new wheel.
The crossing is located near Ferrell Gas in Superior. It's just a few yards east of the Hill Avenue and East 5th Street (also North 12th St) intersection.
12th Street North runs through North End Superior and then as you travel east it turns into East 5th street. It's actually a pretty busy street as it's the only street to run all the way across North End unless you travel further south to Belknap.
The problem with the crossing is that it has huge potholes around the rails. On the edges, the rails at times have been so exposed that it's like hitting a steel 2X4 with your car.
I took pictures the other day when it was raining and these potholes are several inches deep. If you hit it at 25 mph you're going to either throw your alignment off, bend a rim, or spill your coffee all over the car. When I do have to take this route I slow to under 10 mph to save wear and tear on my vehicle.
Who's responsible for the maintenance of railroad crossings? You would think the city right away, but when it comes to railroads things get more complicated, because the railroad can be on the hook for some of this as well.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the Office of the Commissioner of Railroads is responsible to work with private rail firms, local governments, and municipalities to regulate railroad crossings. Here it is straight from the Wisconsin DOT website:
OCR oversees a variety of highway/rail crossing issues including:
- Replacement or enhancement of passive and active warning devices at highway/rail crossings
- Repair of rough highway/rail crossing surfaces
- Installation of highway/rail crossings at new locations
- Alteration of existing highway/rail crossings
- Closing or consolidating existing highway/rail crossings.
This railroad crossing has been a disaster for years. You can file a complaint about railroads by going to the Office Of The Commissioner Of Railroads site. You can identify unsafe railroads, rough crossings, or blocked crossings. Maps can show you which company owns the railroad. In this case, it appears this crossing and railroad are owned by Union Pacific.
Yes, railroads are a very important part of our infrastructure and no one is denying that. They are vital to everyday life especially at a time when we have supply issues. But when an issue like this goes on for years, it's time someone does something about it.
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