Rail re­moval, paving closes Emory Street

The Covington News - - Front Page - Gabriel Khouli gkhouli@cov­news.com

The aban­doned rail­road cross­ing on Emory Street just south of U.S. High­way 278 will be re­moved and paved next week, and while driv­ers will wel­come not hav­ing to nav­i­gate the man­gled steel, they will have to avoid the street for a few days.

Emory Street will be closed from Mon­day through Thurs­day, Aug. 4, as the city re­moves the tracks from the road and the Ge­or­gia Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion then mills and repaves the road sur­face.

The de­tour will be to use Pace and Usher streets.

“One of the rails broke so it was such an el­e­vated hump that we got per­mis­sion (from the rail­road) to go pull rails and mill the road down to a good pro­file,” city Trans­porta­tion Man­ager Billy Skin­ner said.

State trans­porta­tion spokes­woman Cissy McNure said Tues­day that the state also is plan­ning to pave the aban­doned rail cross­ing on U.S. High­way 278 west of West Street dur­ing the week of Aug. 8. The state will not close all lanes, but will work on half of the road at a time.

Both cross­ings are part of the out-of-use Nor­folk South­ern rail line that runs through much of New­ton County. Most of the other cross­ings have al­ready been paved over.

The ac­tive CSX rail cross­ing on Emory Street north of U.S. High­way 278 will likely

be re­paired by CSX this fall, McNure said.

The city repaved Carl­ton Trail last week in front of Cousins Mid­dle School be­cause the street had been dam­aged by ex­ces­sive traf­fic in­clud­ing school buses, Skin­ner said.

Air­port Road work com­pleted; Crow­ell Road/ 81 in­ter­sec­tion

moves for­ward

The county has com­pleted its work on Air­port Road well ahead of the Aug. 4 start of school at the new Flint Hill El­e­men­tary, County En­gi­neer Tom Gar­rett said.

The work, widen­ing the en­trance to Air­port Road from Ga. High­way 142 and adding a short turn­ing lane, cost $ 18,000 for ma­te­ri­als and pur­chased ser­vices, said Gar­rett.

A full widen­ing and re­align­ment of the in- ter­sec­tion is be­ing de­signed and con­struc­tion should be­gin later this year or in early 2012. In the mean­time, a deputy will di­rect traf­fic dur­ing peak school hours.

The county also has sub­mit­ted plans to the state to in­stall a traf­fic sig­nal at the in­ter­sec­tion of Ga. High­way 81 and Crow­ell Road. Gar­rett said the county will be­gin pur­chas­ing right-ofway for the pro­ject this fall and be­gin con­struc­tion by spring 2012.

Gabriel Khouli/the Cov­ing­ton News

The un­used rail­road cross­ing on Emory Street will be paved over dur­ing road clo­sures Mon­day through Thurs­day of next week.

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