Crossing work set next week

Railroad crossings in the city are open for now, but crossings at Mullins Street and Newgarden Avenue will close Sunday, joined by South Ellsworth Avenue and South Lincoln Avenue on Monday.

The crossings at South Lincoln Avenue and Mullins Street will remain closed through Thursday.

City Service/Safety Director Ken Kenst announced the latest information he had received regarding the rail replacement work, this time communicating directly with the Norfolk Southern workers on the work site.

Kenst said he talked with Norfolk Southern track supervisor Jason Beaken about the schedule for the rail replacement work. So far, the work which began earlier this week has involved installing temporary crossings to keep the roads open for now.

When the crossings at South Lincoln Avenue and Mullins Street close, he explained they’ll keep them closed and do all the required work for permanent repair. Plans call for laying rail through Newgarden, Mullins, Ellsworth and Lincoln on Monday and installing temporary crossings at Newgarden and Ellsworth so those roads can reopen that night.

On Tuesday, the track will be surfaced on Lincoln and Mullins and on Wednesday, they’ll correct settlement and install crossing rubber at Lincoln and Mullins, then pave them on Thursday. Kenst said the crew will have to come back to finish the work on the other crossings, but at least Lincoln and Mullins will be finished.

“That’s their goal, to get this done with as little confusion as possible,” he said.

According to Kenst, the work is taking a little longer than expected. An estimated 90 trains travel through Salem daily and now they’re restricted to one track while the work is being done on the other track. He was notifying the school district, Fresh Mark and American Standard and others about the closing schedule.

“Be patient and plan your schedules and travels accordingly,” Kenst said.