North 34th Street Intersection at Pines Road & Railroad Crossing (Paducah, KY)

Paducah City Commission Meeting Highlights

June 11, 2014

By Pam Spencer

Representatives of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Canadian National Railroad, and HMB Professional Engineers, Inc. attended the City Commission meeting to discuss the Pines Road and North 34th Street project. That intersection, which includes a railroad crossing, has been identified as one of the eight most dangerous railroad crossings in Kentucky. Wes Mattingly with HMB says, “The purpose of this project is to improve safety.” Currently there is a railroad signal at the crossing. Mattingly adds, “Even though there is a light, it doesn’t stop people from crossing.” One option to improve safety, considered but not recommended, involved installing crossing gates on Pines Road and on North 34th Street. However, due to the configuration of the intersection, the gates on North 34th would be set back from the tracks which could cause a vehicle to get caught between the gates and the tracks. Mattingly says a driver might panic and try to cross the tracks in the path of a train. The recommended option is to turn North 34th Street into a dead-end street at Pines Road and install crossing gates on Pines Road. The project will cost an estimated $85,000 and will be funded by the State and by the railroad. Construction will begin this fall and will last about a month. A large turnaround space will be constructed at the end of North 34th Street to allow buses and public safety vehicles to 4

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