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Bill aims to get handle on blocked railroad crossings

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Posted at 3:30 AM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-10 23:31:03-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tennessee lawmakers want to try to get a handle on a big problem that's brought some neighborhoods to a complete stop.

We've all been there. It's incredibly frustrating when you're almost where you need to go and then find out a train is blocking the way. A bill is now on it's way to the state House that would require the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to study data about blocked railroad crossings.

If passed, the plan would then require TDOT to report back to the House Transportation committee twice a year about how often those blockages are reported and the impact they're having on neighborhoods around the state.

State Representative Robin Smith says areas like her district in Hamilton County are seeing even more train traffic due to all of the growth that's happening.

"We have the Volkswagen and the Amazon plant and so we've gone from having about 30 trains per day to up to 75 trains per day,". Rep. Smith told the House Transportation Subcommittee in February.

TDOT would be evaluating data from the Federal Railroad Authority. Within the past year, the agency set up a blocked crossings website where anyone can report a blocked railroad crossing in their neighborhood.

Click here to access the site.

Click here to see the bill's progress in the legislature.