NASHVILLE, Tenn. – State and city leaders are trying to come up with solutions to make a railroad crossing in Bellevue safer.
In the last three months, two SUVs have been hit by trains crossing at McCrory Lane near Highway 70, including an incident just this past weekend.
Metro councilman Bo Mitchell says he has asked the Tennessee Department of Transportation to look into a proposal to realign the roads, creating a single four-way intersection by moving McCrory Lane and Old Charlotte Pike together, and crossing Highway 70.
He says the current off-center pattern adds to the gridlock and backup across the tracks. Mitchell is also proposing crossing arms be added to the crossing to make it safer.
TDOT says other improvements like traffic lights or turn lanes would need to go up at the intersection if crossing arms are installed, to help keep the intersection safe. Engineers are working on a new safety plan but they haven't settled on what improvements will be provided.
Mitchell says something has to be done soon to increase safety at the intersection before someone is killed.
“We've had two train wrecks - two cars hit by trains,” said Mitchell. “Everyone survived. That's not going to continue to happen."
Officials with TDOT say railroad safety projects typically take up to a 18 months to get completed, but they're trying to get the project on the fast track, given the recent accidents. They say any road-realignment project at the location would take several years to complete.