Huntington resident Jean Kouwenhoven must be very happy tonight according to a story in yesterday’s Newsday. The Newsday reprinted a brief letter that Jean sent them complaining about the uneven grade crossing on Oakwood Road in Huntington. Beneath the letter was the article featuring the news Jean & many other drivers have been waiting to hear, the crossing has been repaired! Here is the full article courtesy of Newsday:
The LIRR crossing on Oakwood Road in Huntington is so uneven the cars go around it to avoid the raised pavement on the tracks. It’s just a question of time before one car swerves into another car. I have been after people since last year to get it fixed. I wrote the town and county and learned it’s the LIRR’s responsibility. I left a message a few weeks ago at the railroad and they never called.
Jean Kouwenhoven, Huntington
Drivers won’t have to do any more pothole dodging at the Oakwood Road crossing.
Workers finished overhauling the roadway by the tracks on Tuesday, using 20 tons of new asphalt, LIRR spokesman Sam Zambuto said.
After we called the railroad about the problem, the crossing was reinspected. Zambuto said that inspection confirmed what the railroad already knew – the crossing needed help.
Previous inspections had put the Oakwood Road crossing on the railroad’s repair radar, although the LIRR did not perceive a “current hazard,” Zambuto said.
“The crossing needs asphalt work and that was something we were planning to do,” Zambuto said before the repair work began on Nov. 21.
The asphalt on both sides of the tracks was replaced across all traffic lanes. Repairs were also made to the rubberized crossing panels for smoother driving over the tracks. Oakwood Road is one of 290 street-level train crossings within the LIRR system that are regularly inspected, Zambuto said.
Anyone with a problem involving an LIRR crossing should call Public Affairs at 718-558-8228. Complaints can be e-mailed by visiting mta.info, click the FAQs/Contact Us button on the left and then click E-mail at the bottom of the page.
While it is good to see that the problem was fixed, I do have a couple of opinions about this. For starters why did it take Newsday contacting the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) to get this project expedited. The MTA urges customers to contact them with any comments, concerns or suggestions yet they seem to overlook what is sent in. I don’t think it should have taken the Newsday contacting them to get the work completed ahead of whatever schedule they had in mind.
The next piece of business is in regards to their choice of how to repair the crossing. When I finished reading this article on their website, I noticed that someone had left a comment. The comment was left by Anne & she had this to say:
That has finally been repaired? I am in shock!!!!!!! Oh, please. that crossing had been messed up for a long time. I remember the holes at the edge of the tracks 35 years ago. They should rip the entire crossing up and start from scratch. They have down work on that crossing years ago. But for some reason, it never stayed repaired. Use to go around the holes a lot.
If this crossing has been repaired before & the problems kept manifesting itself, maybe Anne’s suggestion is the right way to go about this. Why keep repairing the crossing if the problem is going to manifest itself? This is not cost effective & in a time where wasting money stands out more then ever, the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) should have seriously looked into what would be the best way to fix this problem once & for all.
xoxo Transit Blogger