02.28.17

SCHUMER & MALONEY ANNOUNCE, AFTER THEIR PUSH: CSX WILL RESPOND TO RESIDENT CONCERNS, MAKE REPAIRS TO WATER STREET RETAINING WALL

Last October, Schumer & Maloney Urged CSX To Be Good Neighbors And Address Resident Concerns About The Aging Water Street Retaining Wall

As a Result of Schumer’s & Maloney’s Push, CSX Has Agreed to Make Repairs to Parts of the Wall, and to Review the Entire Wall to Identify if More Work is Needed 

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney today announced that, after their push, CSX visited the site and determined that the Water Street retaining wall will be repaired. Last month, Schumer and Maloney said the original retaining wall, which is adjacent to 302 Water Street, appeared to be in need of repair. The unsightly appearance concerned local residents, who feared a partial collapse could injure passersby or cause a train derailment. CSX determined the wall is structurally sound, but could use certain repairs, which they will pay for. In addition, CSX committed to reviewing the remaining sections of wall to identify if other repairs should also be made. This determination ensures the stability of the wall and eases the minds of nearby residents and local officials alike, said the representatives.

“Newburgh residents can breathe a sigh of relief today, as CSX has promptly inspected this site and confirmed the structural integrity of the Water Street retaining wall,” said Senator Schumer. “After heeding our call for the evaluation, CSX has agreed to make some needed repairs. I appreciate CSX’s attention to this issue and will continue to work with them to make sure they are hearing the concerns of residents and, most importantly, that safety remains their highest priority .”  

“I want to thank CSX for responding to our request to inspect the site and committing to coming out to get this wall fixed up,” said Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18).“ I’m glad Senator Schumer and I were able to team up to get it done because this retaining wall is the difference between safety for the people of Newburgh and an oil train disaster.”  

Schumer and Maloney said work is expected to be done on the wall later this year.

Schumer, a longtime advocate for rail safety, joined Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney in sending a letter to CSX Chairman and CEO Michael Ward, urging CSX to be a good neighbor and investigate the condition of the stone retaining wall. CSX heeded their call and determined that the wall was structurally sound, but agreed that some upgrades needed to be made. CSX agreed to cover the costs of the work.

A copy of Schumer’s and Maloney’s letter to Mr. Ward appears below:

 

Dear Mr. Ward:

We write today concerning the condition of a stone retaining wall along CSX tracks in the City of Newburgh, New York. The wall, which is adjacent to 302 Water Street in the City of Newburgh, is in a serious state of disrepair, and in addition to its unsightly appearance could pose a significant danger to local residents if it continues to deteriorate. Concerns have arisen about the chance that the wall partially collapses and causes a derailment. Such a derailment could pose a very real danger to both the smooth flow of commerce and local residents, especially those in or around the soon-to-be-redeveloped building at 203 Water St. In an effort to ensure this potentially dangerous scenario is addressed we’d ask that you do everything you can to immediately improve the condition of the wall.

While we understand that CSX has already conducted an initial review of the wall, and efforts are underway to determine who has legal responsibility for the wall, your active participation in developing an immediate solution is critical. Therefore, we ask that you have the wall reviewed by an independent engineer mutually agreed upon by CSX and the City of Newburgh to ensure that the wall does not pose a risk to local residents and rail traffic. As you are aware, the structural integrity of CSX infrastructure is of the utmost importance – especially now, given the high volume of highly-volatile crude oil traveling on tracks throughout the region.  

We’ve both been staunch advocates for rail safety, including pressing for the installation of PTC, working to improve education, engineering, and enforcement around grade crossings, and a number of other critical safety enhancements. However, when it comes to improving rail safety it’s vital that CSX and other railroads remain an active and engaged partner. Your help in working with the City to bring in an independent engineer to verify the structural integrity of this retaining wall is important and necessary. 

Thank you in advance your consideration, should you need further information please do not hesitate to contact our offices.

 

Sincerely,

 

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

 

Sean Patrick Maloney

Member of Congress

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