Railroad crossing dispute steams ahead

— A hearing will be held before a judge at Ballston Town Hall on Wednesday, March 28, that’s aimed at figuring out what will happen with three railroad crossings in the town.

In October of 2010, Canadian Pacific Railway sent a letter tothe Town of Ballston stating it wanted to close three railroad crossings at Connolly Road, Saunders Lane and White Beach Road, all off of Route 50.

Approximately 75 homes would be affected if the crossings close, potentially stranding some homeowners. Roads affected by potential closings include those named above, as well as Fairview Road, Glen Ridge Road, Hampton Road, Lake Shore Road, Manning Road, Powers Lane, Waverly Road, according tothe town’s building inspector, Thomas Johnson.

Town Supervisor Patti Southworth was not available for comment.

“We’ve had somevery good discussions with all of the various parties involved and we’ve beenvery pleased with the collaborative approach that has taken place with local residents, the town and New York State Department of Transportation. It’s been a very productive and positive experience,” said Ed Greenberg, a spokesman for Canadian Pacific.

“At this time we’ve reached a conceptual agreement pending a judge’s decision on twoof the three crossings. …The Saunders Lane crossing will be closed and theWhite’s Beach crossing would be turned into a full public crossing. It would beupgraded to include safety devices like gates, bells and flashing lights,” continued Greenberg.

A solution for the Connolly Road crossing is still being worked out, according to Greenberg, and will be discussed at the hearing.

“CP’s main concern is safety and the Connolly Road crossing remains a safety concern for our company and our position is still that it isan unsafe location,” added Greenberg.

Cost for one crossing to be equipped with lights and a gate is approximately $250,000, said Johnson.

The New York State Department of Transportation declined to comment on the situation.

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