County to assist in Brewton traffic issue

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, June 10, 2015

“We’re committed to helping however we can” was the Escambia County Commissions sentiment on finding a traffic solution at Brewton’s problem railroad intersection of U.S. Hwys. 31 and 41.
Recent crashes at the track, which included motorists attempting to beat the train and semi-operators spilling log loads when taking the curve, have made headlines, and residents are asking what can be done to fix the problem.
Monday’s discussion began after County Engineer Bill Bridges presented an agreement among the state department of transportation, the county and Alabama Gulf Coast Railway for the crossing on Foshee Road. The county had requested new markings and signage; however, the railway revealed site upgrades to also include lighting and a cross-guard to prevent motorists from entering the path of an oncoming train.
“That’s what they said they’re going to do,” Bridges said of the upgrade.
Commissioners noted a number of differences between the Foshee Road crossing and the one at the Brewton intersection – namely rail ownership.
“How (Foshee Road) can warrant an arm and why Brewton can’t, I don’t know,” Commissioner Raymond Wiggins said. “Is there anything we can do to help Brewton?”
Commissioners agreed to notify Brewton Mayor Yank Lovelace to pledge their support in the solving the traffic issue.
At Monday’s council meeting, Lovelace said discussions are underway with highway officials and CSX Railroad representatives.
“I met with ALDOT (Monday), and we’re going to continue to meet in about two weeks to see if we can find a better solution,” Lovelace said. “It’s of a great concern to the council because of the danger it poses to property and human lives.”