The County of Stettler will voice its concern to a major railway company over the roughness of some of its local rail crossings after councillors described at least one crossing as “awful” at the Oct. 13 regular meeting of council.
County staff presented councillors with a report on the roughness of certain CP Rail crossings in the area of the rural municipality west of the Town of Stettler.
County Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Yvette Cassidy stated the condition of some of the rail and road crossings was noticeably bad.
“They are still extremely rough,” said Cassidy.
Coun. James Nibourg noted he was concerned about a number of the rail crossings, but mentioned two that especially concerned him, site #5 which he described as “awful” and site #7 which he said motorists should expect to “…lose your tire.”
The staff report, which was prepared with the help of the county Public Works department and which included multiple photographs of the crossings in question, said of site #1 Range Rd 20-2, north of Hwy. #12, “This crossing is quite rough, it would appear that the railroad ties are significantly higher than the grade of the road. It could use gravel on either side of the crossing.”
The next problem area in the report was described as site #2, Range Rd 20-3, north of Hwy. #12, “Railway ties at this crossing are somewhat higher than the grade of road, the problem is significantly worse on the south side of the tracks, but the north side of tracks could use some work.”
Site #3 located at Range Rd 20-3A was described thusly: “The track at this crossing is sitting up higher than the railroad ties, there are also two loose railroad ties, as well as a broken one.”
Another problem area was site #4, Range Rd 20-5, south of Hwy. 12, “…Gravel at this crossing on both sides of the tracks is lower than the railroad ties, causing the crossing to be very rough.”
One of the problem areas mentioned by Coun. Nibourg was site #5, Range Rd 21-0A, “…there is a short half a metre of railroad tie sticking up on the east side of tracks that could use some gravel. On the north side of the crossing there are multiple pot holes about five metres making the intersection extremely rough.”
Another problem area mentioned in the report was site #6, Sec. Hwy. 835, South of Hwy. 12, “The asphalt on both sides of the crossing sticks up a little bit higher than the railroad ties, the track itself is sitting above the railroad ties. This crossing is extremely rough.”
Another problem area mentioned included site #7, Range Rd 21-2, south of Hwy. 12, “…on the south side of the crossing there are two large potholes that could use some attention.”
The report described five more rough railway crossings the county was concerned about.
Nibourg added that councillors had been informed at a previous council meeting Stettler County Public Works staff had tried to help out by filling in potholes at site #7 but had been asked to leave the area by CP Rail workers who were there at the time.
Coun. Cheri Neitz stated it seemed to her that some of the crossings had been repaired a few months ago but it looks like they’ve loosened a bit.
Councillors unanimously agreed by resolution to send a letter of concern to CP Rail about the rail crossings in question, including the information discussed at the meeting.
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter