07.12.19

FOLLOWING HIS +18 MONTH ADVOCACY & VISIT TO THE DILAPIDATED TRACKS, SCHUMER ANNOUNCES CSX HAS FINALLY COMPLETED LONG-TERM FIXES TO DANGEROUS CSX CROSSINGS IN NEW WINDSOR; SENATOR SAYS REPAIRS AT TEMPLE HILL RD & UNION AVE CROSSINGS WILL REDUCE ACCIDENTS & BOOST SAFETY ON MAJOR ROADS

Temple Hill Rd & Union Ave Rail Crossings In New Windsor Have Been In A State Of Disrepair For Years—Resulting In Dozens Of Incidents, Thousands Of Dollars In Damages & Causing Significant Safety & Quality Of Life Issues

 After Writing To CSX In January 2018, Visiting New Windsor Last November, Speaking To CEO In December, Schumer Reveals Company Has Heeded His Calls And Paved Over Perilous Crossings

 Schumer: CSX Rail Crossing Repairs Will Get Orange County Driver Safety Back On Track

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced today, following his tireless advocacy, that CSX has finally completed construction on long-term fixes to critical structural issues for two frequently traveled rail crossings in Orange County – one at the intersection of Temple Hill Road and Route 300 and the other at Union Avenue and Erie Avenue – that had experienced rapid and severe wear and tear in recent years. Schumer explained that CSX paved over the two crossings, which had caused dozens of incidents and numerous injuries during the last 3 years, boosting the safety and well-being of Orange County residents. Schumer previously visited New Windsor in November, 2018 and wrote to CSX the previous January to push for the infrastructure fixes.

“These run down and, frankly, dangerous rail crossings on major arteries of the town have been a thorn in the side of not just New Windsor residents, but Orange County residents for far too many years, but at long last, CSX has finally stepped up to the plate and completed construction on long-term fixes that will drastically reduce accidents in the area,” said Senator Schumer. “I’m pleased to see that CSX has heeded my numerous calls and implemented these repairs because Orange County deserves infrastructure that is up to snuff and safe for residents and non-residents alike. When our rail crossings and major thoroughfares are jeopardizing the safety and well-being of the countless people who travel them, I’ll always fight tooth and nail to get them back on track.”

Schumer explained that in 2013, CSX came to New Windsor to make minor repairs to the two rail crossings. One crossing is located at the intersection of Temple Hill Road and Route 300, the second most popular road in the county, and the other is located at Union Avenue and Erie Avenue. Schumer said that CSX’s initial repairs, while appreciated, were a temporary patch and since then both of the rail crossings deteriorated, leading to uneven tracks and potholes. In fact, reports from the Town of New Windsor indicate the crossings caused accidents ranging from popped tires, to severe automobile damage, as well as risks to cyclists crossing the tracks. According to the New Windsor Police Department, the two worn-out rail crossings have resulted in 25 minor accidents over the last three years, including four that occurred after Schumer launched his initial push in January of 2018.

A copy of Schumer’s initial letter from January 2018 to CSX CEO James M. Foote appears below.

Dear Mr. Foote:

I write to request CSX assistance in developing a long-term solution to structural issues at two frequently used rail-crossings in the Town of New Windsor, New York that frequently fall into a state of disrepair. One crossing is at the intersection of Temple Hill Road and Route 300 and the other is at Union Avenue and Erie Avenue. Both crossings have fallen into major disrepair including many potholes and uneven tracks, making it difficult and dangerous for drivers and emergency vehicles to cross and have impeded emergency response to incidents throughout New Windsor.  To ensure a smooth, safe flow of traffic it is critical that CSX work quickly and cooperatively with New Windsor to make upgrades needed to ensure residents and emergency vehicles are safe as they travel through the crossings.

In 2013, CSX came to New Windsor to do some minor repairs to the crossings, and it’s my understanding that in more recent years additional temporary repairs have been made. Although these repairs were greatly appreciated, given that they were temporary in nature they quickly deteriorated. Recent reports from the Town indicate the crossings are causing accidents related to popped tires and severe automobile damage as well as risks to cyclist using the crossing. As traffic continues to increase on these roads, it is important for CSX to meet with New Windsor officials to develop a permanent and long-term solution for these decrepit and dangerous crossings.

While I appreciate previous efforts by CSX to make temporary repairs to crossings in the Town of New Windsor, I’d now ask that you meet with Town officials and engineers to develop a plan to upgrade these grade crossings in a way that is less susceptible to frequent and persistent deterioration. Thank you for your attention to these issues; I believe your attention will make a meaningful improvement in rail grade-crossing safety in Orange County and throughout New York. Should you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Sincerely,

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