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Proposal to Add Extra Safety Measures to Dickson Street Railroad Crossing

Dickson Street in Fayetteville has seen a steady increase in traffic for many years.
Dickson Street in Fayetteville has seen a steady increase in traffic for many years.

With more people and cars, comes a need for more safety, and a proposed project between the Arkansas Missouri Railroad and the City of Fayetteville, may soon be taking it on.

"We all know that when cars and trains get together, the train always wins," Chris Brown, City Engineer for the City of Fayetteville said.

A situation the City of Fayetteville has seen before, but is working to never see again.

"These lights here, they've been here many years but unfortunately a lot of people don't pay attention to them," Arkansas Missouri Railroad Chief of Police Ron Sparks said,

The Arkansas Missouri Railroad and Fayetteville are teaming up and hope to split the cost of a project that could add state-of-the-art lights and crossing gates to the crossing at Dickson Street.

The safety features would be similar to those at the Cato Springs Road crossing in Fayetteville. However the Cato Springs project cost 300,000 dollars, while the proposed project on Dickson street would cost 500,000 dollars.

"The reason they are expensive is because they are built to be fail safe there's a lot of electronics in the box and they are built to work even when the electricity fails they have back up batteries," Sparks said.

The project would be the most complicated custom design the Arkansas Missouri Railroad has ever constructed. It would include high-tech upgrades not just in safety, but convenience for all travelers.

"The newer ones are built to work with the traffic lights that are close by, which is the one down here, they're integrated into the city system," Sparks said.

Plus, with the trail next to the track additional pedestrian gates would be added.

"There'll be some adjustment here because of the tight nature of all the space," 

All details to be worked out if the city council approves the plan next Tuesday, Oct. 15th.

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