MILFORD — The dual rail gang is on its way to Milford. Barring any delays due to wether or operational issues, Norfolk Southern’s dual rail gang is expected to begin installing the new rail in the Milford area around July 15.
The gang is currently working on crossings in Leesburg.
Jonathan Glass, manager of public relations for Norfolk Southern Corporation, stated the gang works a Sunday to Wednesday schedule and the work through Milford is expected to take about three days to complete.
Will that happen in Milford? What if the fire department is needed?
Milford Fire Chief Todd Haines stated the department has held numerous conversations regarding the potential of all four crossings being closed at once. Fire department officers attended a meeting with Norfolk Southern a few weeks ago. It was at that time they announced the plan was to be at CR 900N by July 4.
“We’re going to play it by ear,” Haines said. But when the time comes the crossing are closed, “we will move trucks and have trucks on the east side as well as the west side.”
Haines noted there are two scenarios that could happen: crews could start and stop the work at each crossing or close all crossings down at one time. “We’re hoping they will do one or two (crossings) and move on.”
Glass explained the new ribbons of rail being installed are 1,140 feet long and there will be multiple crossings closed simultaneously in Milford. “Provisions will be made to allow access to emergency vehicles in any emergency situations,” he stated, explaining Norfolk Southern will stage stone that can be used to quickly create a temporary crossing in an emergency.
The plan is to have at least one of the busiest crossings reopened at the end of each work day. Glass stated the company plans to coordinate the crossing closure with the town of Milford to provide 48-hour notice before work begins.
It is expected that Norfolk Southern will be at crossings between CR 900N and CR 1150N the week of July 8. This includes Kilmer Driver, the only way in and out of the neighborhood.
“Norfolk Southern expects to close the crossing or about six hours to install the new rail,” Glass said. Ballast stone will be staged should a crossing quickly need to be created for emergency vehicles. “We apologize in advance to residents for this temporary inconvenience.”
Norfolk Southern has assigned around 100 employes to the dual rail gang, but approximately 80 are involved in the current rail replacement project. The gang deploys about 40 pieces of equipment that moves in assembly-line fashion down the tracks.