KOSCIUSKO — Beginning on Sunday, June 17, Norfolk Southern’s specialty rail gang will begin installing new rail in Kosciusko County. This second phase of the project is expected to take approximately four weeks to complete. The gang will work Sunday through Wednesday of each week. Paving and other crossing improvements on Thursdays and Fridays may cause additional disruptions. However, crossings will not be left torn out between Thursday and Saturday.
Sunday’s work will begin in Claypool, moving north at a pace of approximately 1 to 1.5 miles per day. Sunday’s work will not likely affect any county road crossings; however, there is a possibility that the gang could reach CR 550S before the end of the day.
By next Tuesday or Wednesday, June 19 or 20, the gang could be to the area of Dogwood Drive, La Vista Drive, and Ranch Road. Residents in the Dogwood Drive/La Vista Drive neighborhood will be given at least 24-hour notice of this closure by hand delivered flyers. Warsaw-Wayne Fire Territory personnel will be positioned at the Dogwood Drive crossing for the duration of the closure, and Norfolk Southern will be prepared to create emergency access to the neighborhood, if needed. If residents are not comfortable remaining in the neighborhood during the closure, they should make alternate arrangements. Next week’s work should end just south of the Pope Street crossing in Warsaw.
The week of June 24, work is expected to begin at Pope Street in Warsaw and move northward, ending near Levi Lee Road. At this time, Hickory Street will close for approximately two weeks to prepare for safety upgrades this fall and reconstruction of the roadway. Either the Market or Center Street crossing is expected to reopen to cross traffic within two days. The other crossing, along with the Main Street crossing, will also be closed for a two-week period.
The rail gang equipment will stretch over a mile of track, which will cause multiple crossing closures at one time. While work occurs in Warsaw, crossings over the stretch of a mile may all be closed simultaneously for six or more hours. Motorists are strongly encouraged to plan extra travel time and use US 30 to cross town.
The week of July 1, crews are expected to work north from Levi Lee Road to the area of CR 600N, and the Leesburg side track will also be completed at this time. The remainder of the project from the town of Leesburg northward will follow.
Closures are expected to last six or more hours at a time at most crossings. Some closures could last for most of a day. All crossings will be repaired with cold patch temporarily to open crossings to vehicle traffic, then they will be repaired and paved properly as the project progresses.
Local emergency services are planning accordingly for these closures. Fire and police personnel will assist the railroad’s traffic control contractor, as needed, to ensure the safety of motorists and railroad crews. Motorists are asked to use extra caution and patience while this project is completed.
For questions or concerns, residents and businesses may contact the city of Warsaw mayor’s office at (574) 372-9595.