REGISTER VIEWPOINT: Keep up the pressure on rail underpasses

Sandusky's rail underpasses (or subways, as longtime Sanduskians call them) are showing their age. The Ohio Department of Tra
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

Sandusky's rail underpasses (or subways, as longtime Sanduskians call them) are showing their age.

The Ohio Department of Transportation's annual report indicates the Hayes Avenue and Tiffin Avenue underpasses are deteriorating and some damage is serious. Even without official word of their condition, motorists can see the crumbling structures pose a potential problem to those driving under the railway bridges.

Sandusky City Commissioners Dave Waddington and Dan Kaman have been nudging the railroad to bring the underpasses up to safe, sound and secure condition. We acknowledge their efforts and encourage them to go as far as it needs to with ODOT, the Public Utilities Commission and the railroad to see to it that the overpasses are fixed.

All to often when a tragedy, such as a bridge collapse, happens, it comes to light that a paper trail exists calling for needed repairs that never quite made it to the proper hands or were placed too far down on repair lists.

We can't have that happen here.

In addition to being major traffic inlets in the city, they are also paths taken by children walking to and from school.

ODOT is responsible for inspecting railway bridges. Norfolk Southern Railroad officials say they don't plan to replace the bridges, but will continue to perform maintenance. Their standards of maintenance seem to leave much to be desired.

City commissioners are responsible for making sure repair orders are not languishing at the bottom of the railroad's to-do list. The city should push as far as they need to and stay there until the railroad fixes the underpasses.