Repairs due

The crossing of the CSX train tracks at Andrews Avenue will be temporarily closed for maintenance work from 6:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 14, to noon on Saturday, Jan. 15, city officials say. The project is one of four like it the railroad plans in and near Henderson this month.

HENDERSON — There will be four temporary road closures in Henderson later this month as CSX works on some of its railroad crossings.

The first group includes what is the highest-profile of the crossings by far, the one that carries Andrews Avenue across the tracks at the north end of downtown.

Andrews Avenue will be closed between North Garnett Street and Rowland Street from 6:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 14, to noon on Saturday, Jan. 15, city officials say.

Workers on those same days and times also will close St. Matthews Street between Miriam Street and Nicholas Street.

That crossing is one of three CSX plans to work on in the Raleigh Road corridor.

The following weekend, from Friday, Jan. 21, at 6:30 a.m. to Saturday, Jan. 22, at noon, workers will close the crossing of J.P. Taylor Road just off U.S. 1 Business, and the crossing of Eastern Minerals Road, also just off U.S. 1 Business but near the Eastern Minerals plant.

City officials have been told only that the crossings will be “closed for repair,” and that traffic will have to be rerouted during the closures. “Signage will be in place marking detour routes,” City Clerk Esther McCrackin said.

She directed further inquiries to CSX, whose media-relations offices hadn’t answered them as of press time on Wednesday.

Crossing maintenance can take many forms, be it upkeep of the signals, bells and gates to work on the tracks and the roadbed they cross over.

CSX as of 2020 was serving 23 states and had single-track lines like the one in Henderson that covered 19,605 miles. Its net earnings on the year were $2.7 billion, according to its 2020 annual report.

But the company does have its challenges. Average train speeds on its lines have been dropping of late, and as of the third quarter of 2021 were down to 17.7 mph, 10% less than the 19.6 mph from the year before, according to its most recent quarterly report to investors.

Train accident rates are up, with 3.09 occurring in the third quarter of 2021 for every million miles of running. That was improved on the third-quarter rate of 2020, but the full-year rate in 2019 was 2.35 accidents per million miles.

Continued spending on the upkeep of “track, bridges, signals, equipment and [hazard] detection technology” helps safety, the company said in its 2020 annual report, which also noted that it spent $1.4 billion on infrastructure that year and $1.6 million on capital projects overall.

Contact Ray Gronberg at rgronberg@hendersondispatch.com or by phone at 252-436-2850.

Contact Ray Gronberg at rgronberg@hendersondispatch.com or by phone at 252-436-2850.

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