Crossing railroad tracks at the intersection of U.S. 52 and U.S. 601 (Rockford Street) in Mount Airy can be a bumpy proposition, but improvements will occur there soon.
The bad news is that the work will require temporary lane and road closures around the city’s busiest intersection.
While serving as a member of the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners during the 1990s, the late Frank Lowry made it a personal project to have rough railroad crossings in town addressed. Lowry wrote countless letters to railway officials, among other lobbying efforts that resulted in the smoother configurations enjoyed since.
But the toll of heavy traffic over the years has found the Yadkin Valley Railroad crossing at the U.S. 52/U.S. 601 intersection needing attention once again, as motorists who use that route will attest.
The existing crossing is in a deteriorating condition and will be replaced, according to the N.C. Department of Transportation.
It announced an improvement project Thursday which will include removing existing rubber panels on the crossing and replacing them with concrete panels.
The work by the DOT is slated to begin on Sept. 12 and be completed in about one week. It will be done in two phases, officials say.
Phase One Work
During the first phase, starting on Sept. 12, northbound traffic on U.S. 52 will be shifted to one lane, and the portion of Rockford Street between U.S. 52 and the Prime Sirloin restaurant near Northern Hospital of Surry County will be closed.
Meanwhile, hospital traffic will need to follow a signed detour that is scheduled to be in place and direct motorists to Worth Street. This traffic pattern will remain in place through Sept. 15.
During the project’s second phase, the southbound portion of U.S. 52 will be closed south of U.S. 601.
A signed detour will be in place and direct motorists to take U.S. 601-South and Interstate 74-East.
This phase of the project should be completed by Sept. 19.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.