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Superior pushes for Union Pacific to repair rough railroad crossing

The city's public works committee added to the list of at-grade rail crossings in need of a fix.

Railroad crossing on East Fifth Street at Hill Avenue
The Office of the Commissioner of Railroads launch an investigation to determine whether Union Pacific Railroad Company should be compelled to make repairs at the crossing on East Fifth Street near Hill Avenue. Contributed by: The city of Superior
Contributed / City of Superior

City officials are taking action to compel repairs at rough at-grade railroad crossings in Superior.

The city’s public works committee adopted two resolutions Thursday, Dec. 2, to notify the Union Pacific Railroad Company of needed repairs at crossings on Catlin Avenue north of Winter Street and Winter Street east of Catlin Avenue.

The decision comes on the heels of the Office of the Commissioner of Railroads in Wisconsin issuing notice on Wednesday, Dec. 1, of an investigation to compel the railroad to repair a crossing on East Fifth Street near Hill Avenue at the request of the city's public works department.

Councilor Brent Fennessey proposed a similar resolution for the East Fifth Street crossing repairs, which was adopted in September.

The railroad didn’t respond to the city’s request for repairs, prompting the public works department to petition the commissioner of railroads to compel the repairs.

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Under state law, railroads are required to maintain at-grade crossings in good condition for travel by the public. The Office of the Commissioner of Railroads has the authority to compel repairs.

The crossing has been rough for years and subject of numerous complaints received by the city, wrote Chris Carlson, assistant public works director, in the city’s petition.

The crossing consists of two sets of tracks. The western track is a timber crossing with timbers elevated above the road grade, and the eastern tracks are laid with deteriorated asphalt and gravel.

“Numerous attempts requesting action from Union Pacific Railroad have been unsuccessful,” Carlson wrote to the commission.

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As reported by Douglas County.