CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
2800 BERLIN TURNPIKE P.O. BOX 317546
NEWINGTON CONNECTICUT, 06131-7546
|FOR RELEASE: March 20, 2014||
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
TELEPHONE: (860) 594-3062
FAX: (860) 594-3065
WEB SITE: www.ct.gov/dot
Work to Begin on Danbury Branch Crossing-Warning Issue
The Connecticut Department of Transportation announced today that it will begin construction work on Friday, March 21, on two street-level railroad crossings on the Danbury commuter branch that have experienced issues with gates closing when no train is approaching.
The first crossing to be addressed is the one on East Liberty Street in Danbury. The work will be begin at 10 a.m. March 21 and continue through 4 p.m. March 26, and will require a traffic detour. East Liberty Street will be excavated on each side of the crossing and the entire crossing will be replaced. The next crossing to be addressed will be at South Street in Bethel, currently scheduled to begin March 28.
It is anticipated that this work may identify the possible contributing factors to the grade crossing problem in recent weeks with the new technology implemented at certain crossings in late 2013 as part of the Danbury Signalization Project. The issues cause grade crossing gates and lights to activate on occasion when no train is in the area. Metro-North and the DOT are working with the signal project contractor to determine the cause or causes of the crossing issues to develop technical solutions. A number of strategies are being devised and tested, including the reconstruction work.
Since the issues were identified, trains have been operating on a “stop and warn” system, requiring the train to stop before each crossing and warn motorists that a train is coming through. This practice has reduced train speeds and affected service.
Metro-North has been providing off-peak and weekend busing for Danbury Branch customers since March 1, when a temporary schedule was put in place.