By Scott Bolthouse—Hub Editor—ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com
State Rep. Darrin Camilleri sent Michigan Department of Transportation an official request Tuesday asking for a study to be conducted on railroad crossings in Huron Township and Woodhaven.
Camilleri announced in a statement on his Facebook page that a Diagnostic Study Team Review should be done at railroad crossings located in both communities.
“These teams, made up of individuals from the Department, road authorities, railroads, and others, assist MDOT in determining crossing safety needs, including the coordination of roadway improvement projects,” Camilleri said.
Camilleri said that a diagnostic review of the Huron Township crossings has not been done since the 1980s.
Local officials have been unable to make progress on the crossing issues because the railroad is labeled as interstate commerce, which is regulated within a state only by the Federal Government according to Constitutional powers.
Motorists that travel over crossings in Huron Township are often left stranded at the safety gates and sometimes have to wait well over an hour for the crossing to eventually clear.
In August, a private company collaborated with the Huron Township Department of Public Safety to make available a camera system to the public that shows live video of each crossing in the township.
Here is Camilleri’s statement in full:
Today, I sent two letters to the Michigan Department of Transportation requesting Diagnostic Study Team Reviews on two Downriver railroad crossings. These teams, made up of individuals from the Department, road authorities, railroads, and others, assist MDOT in determining crossing safety needs, including the coordination of roadway improvement projects.
While these reviews are usually done by the Department at the request of railroad corporations, I think it is time that we also put these state agencies to work for Downriver residents. In the case of the Huron Township crossing, one of these reviews has not been conducted since the early 1980s.
Given increases in traffic and business activity in our community, and the unacceptable number and length of road blockages, I have asked MDOT to conduct these safety reviews as part of a broader effort to work on this issue that rightfully causes so many in our community so much frustration.
Camilleri is representative for House District 23, which includes the communities of Brownstown, Gibraltar, Grosse Ile, Huron, Trenton, and Woodhaven.
Here is the letter Camilleri sent to MDOT regarding to the Huron Township crossings: