It’s been seven years since city officials began complaining about the deteriorating condition of railroad tracks in Brunswick.
So far, the results from CSX Railroad and Norfolk Southern have been disappointing, at best, said city commissioner Johnny Cason.
“They don’t do routine maintenance at all,” he said. “They’ll give you lip service and then it doesn’t get done.”
Cason said nearly every railroad crossing in the city is in bad condition, but some are in such poor shape that motorists deserve sympathy for having to drive over them.
The tracks near Greenwood Cemetery, and those near the City Market dock and Georgia Marine Extension, are among the worst, Cason said.
“It’s not right for the people to have to drive over these tracks,” he said. “Our efforts in the city didn’t get it done. It needs to be done.”
Mayor Cornell Harvey said he hears periodic complaints about the condition of railroad crossings in the city. Some complaints are about abandoned tracks the city has asked the railroad companies to remove. Others are about damage caused to vehicles that motorists expect the city to pay for even though they aren’t responsible for railroad crossings.
City engineer Garrow Alberson rated the city’s railroad crossings as “poor, at best.”
Some crossings on the main roadways are in decent shape, but others such as the ones near Bay Street and those on 4th Street are in bad condition, he said.
Alberson said both railroads are aware of the complaints about the condition of some crossings in the city.
“I call them pretty regularly, every several weeks to remind them the crossings are here and they need care,” he said.
Neither railroad has responded to quickly resolve a problem, he said. Instead, both railroads make excuses or empty promises, city officials said.
Alberson said CSX, in particular, is slower to respond than Norfolk Southern.
“CSX is bad and they have the most crossings,” he said.
When work is done, it’s not done in a way that will stand the wear and tear of traffic in the Golden Isles.
“We’re trying to push for something in there that’s going to last,” he said. “Hopefully, we can get the ball rolling to get some repairs done. So far, we’ve been unsuccessful.”