Four area railroad crossings close to through traffic

City officials say it will decrease loudness of train

POSTED: 08:56 AM MDT Jul 15, 2013    UPDATED: 09:24 PM MST Jan 15, 2014 
EL PASO, Texas -

El Paso railroad crossings are ready to undergo some changes.

Officials with the City of El Paso's Engineering and Construction Management Department announced 11 railroad crossings will be upgraded, some with new crossing arms and medians.

Four crossings will be completely closed off to traffic. City officials said the closures will allow trains to pass through faster and sound its horn less, making some neighborhoods in central El Paso a little more quiet.

The following railroad crossings will soon close for vehicles:

- Estrella Street

- Cebada Street

- Boone Street

- Cadwallader Drive

ABC-7 spoke with residents of Estrella St. and some were still on the fence about the project.

Roberto Hernandez has lived in the neighborhood his entire life and said the sound of the train's horn has gotten louder through out the years, but he doesn't think closing the intersection will help the noise problem.

He hopes it will make his neighborhood safer with less traffic.

"There will be less of the big trucks that are working on the other side of the tracks and going to Juarez passing through. The cars that race through here, that'll stop it," he said.

Assistant Pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church, Rev. John Williams said he completely disagrees with the closures.

There are three other congregations in about a three-block radius. Rev. Williams said every Sunday the area is very busy.

"If there's an emergency at the church and the fire department and ambulance have to come through here it will be closed. If it's closed they have to go around and that is precious time," said Rev. Williams.

Construction is set to begin in December.

To inform residents, the city is holding public meetings beginning Monday, July 15.

Here is a list of the scheduled meetings:

http://www.kvia.com/news/meeting-times-for-railroad-intersection-projects/-/391068/20978316/-/yf71ak/-/index.html