Public Service Commission drops complaints vs. two railroads in GI blocked crossing case.

Complaint against Burlington Northern still stands.
Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 1:21 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2020 at 1:32 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The Nebraska Public Service Commission has dropped its complaints against two of the three railroads blamed for chronically blocked crossings in northern Grand Island.

The PSC dismissed complaints against the Union Pacific and Nebraska Central railroads.

“Our goal through this process was to find a workable solution to the problem of blocked crossings and we intend to keep close watch to assure the solution is long term,” Commission Chair Mary Ridder said in a prepared statement. “By working together UPRR and NCRC have found a way to keep these crossings open. We appreciate their efforts and believe this new process will provide long awaited relief to the citizens who need to safely cross to their places of work, school, and family”

The PSC said he two railroads (UPRR and NCRC) have agreed on a plan as to how they will handle their trains, so they are not blocking crossings. The section of track affected is between St. Paul and Skypark Road and Airport Road to 4th Street east. The PSC’s statement did not have any specific information on how the railroads would do this.

The PSC complaint against the Burlington Northern Santa Fe still stands. Ridder said, “We hope to be able to come a workable solution with BNSF as well.”

After months of complaints, the PSC held a February public hearing in Grand Island during which citizens reported their concerns. People said in the meeting that the trains would block intersections for hours at a time. This often led to children crawling between train cars to get to school. It also caused an inconvenience for not only regular drivers, but even EMTs trying to get to an emergency.

In June the commission filed complaints against all three railroads.

Local4 will follow-up this story with more information later on Tuesday.

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