Routine maintenance on the railroad crossing at Britton and Western in northwest Oklahoma City has been causing a headache for drivers. Traffic has been diverted to the north and south where drivers cross the tracks into residential neighborhoods that can become congested quickly.
Burlington North Santa Fe told News 9 that the project was part of $1.2 million in repairs to the line in Oklahoma and work should be completed quickly.
“This is horrid actually, I was just saying that to myself that they need to fix the railroad tracks a little faster,” said one driver. “I have to go through the neighborhood, and then people do not abide by the stop signs and they're speeding through my neighborhood.”
Traffic backs up on residential streets as motorists try to get around the track repairs. These normally empty streets have become clogged with traffic.
Two blocks away, a freight train approaches the intersection, it seems no amount of horn-blowing or flashing red lights will stop traffic at the detour crossings just north and south of Britton. Employees at nearby businesses say many drivers are in a rush to get through the traffic jam, trying to beat the train. Others say the construction detour is confusing, because there are no gates that come down.
“I almost got hit by a train, because I didn't know that they still came down," said the driver. "And I was down in, on the block down there and almost got hit by a train.”
One of the detour crossings was the scene of a deadly collision between a car and train last year. One business operator told us even when the main intersection is open, drivers still try to beat the train because there are not safety gates blocking the crossing.