Town Neck Railroad Crossing Gets $450,000 Makeover
By: Alex Scofield
The railroad crossing at the intersection of Tupper and Town Neck roads recently got a $450,000 facelift.
Early in November, the crossing that lies on the Massachusetts Coastal Railroad’s line was outfitted with three new gates, seven pairs of large warning lights and a 22-foot-tall cantilever that extends about 24 feet over the roadway, all in an effort to increase its visibility to oncoming drivers and pedestrians.
John T. Pearson, general manager of MassCoastal, said that the crossing was on the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s list of areas eligible for funds to improve its safety and visibility.
The last time work was done on the crossing was about 1985, said MassCoastal Program Manager Mark G. O’Hara.
There was also significant work done on the surface where the tracks cross the roadway, Mr. Pearson said.
First, a new section of track was laid across the crossing.
Mr. Pearson explained that the lines that lie in the crossing are subject to factors that cause them to deteriorate faster than other sections of the track, like exposure to road salt and plow blades.
He said that because the joints that hold together sections of track are also more prone to damage, two 39-foot sections of track were welded together and laid across the crossing.
Where the roadway meets the crossing, seven-foot-long concrete panels weighing about five tons were laid atop a stone dust foundation, in order to reduce the amount of friction for vehicles crossing over the lines.
The panels, which have a rubber lining around their edges and unlike asphalt are not susceptible to frost heaves, also help hold the tracks in place, Mr. Pearson said.
Mr. Pearson said there are several other crossings in nearby towns that were recently renovated to increase safety and driver comfort.
Among them was the Elm Street Crossing, which was also paid for by the Massachusetts DOT, and the Briarwood and County road crossings, both of which are in Bourne.
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