GLADSTONE - The Gladstone City Commission announced an advance notification light will be installed at the top of South Hill Road. The light will alert emergency vehicles that trains are crossing at the bottom of the hill. The topic was discussed at Monday night's commission meeting.
"We did receive a safety enhancement grant from CN Railroad and that's what we are choosing to use to cover this project," said City Manager Darla Falcon. The roughly $39,000 project is being planned by Wilcox Engineering, and will be installed by the city.
Because of the location of the crossing at the bottom of South Hill Road, vehicles at the top of the hill cannot see if the crossing is being used. Critical response time is lost when emergency vehicles reach the bottom of the hill before realizing there will be a delay, and are forced to back track to find a new route.
"Hopefully we can get this installed yet this year. It's not a large project. (It) shouldn't take too many days to string the wires and get it hooked up on both ends," said Falcon.
The notification light will be visible from the intersection of North 29th Street and South Hill Road. Once the light is installed, it will be the responsibility of the city to maintain the light and wiring until the point where the system connects with the railroad's existing infrastructure.
"We will maintain it and be in control of it," said Falcon.
The need for an advance warning light has been a concern for residents and has been brought to the attention of the commission before.
"That was frequently mentioned on the citizen survey," said Commissioner Matt Gay. "Hopefully that shows we are listening and working diligently to address those concerns."