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Arlington rail crossing closures scheduled to start Thursday

01/15/2013 10:54 PM

01/16/2013 11:26 AM

Editor's note: The original version of this report has been updated to clarify the closure schedule.

ARLINGTON -- Plans to close several railroad crossings through Arlington have changed slightly, with the first of the closures starting Thursday instead of Wednesday.

City officials warned, however, that the plan largely remains the same and that closures will still create travel headache for drivers and logistical challenges for schools and emergency responders.

Union Pacific is spending $30 million to renew 35 miles of track between Fort Worth and Dallas. In Arlington, the tracks essentially cut the city in half along Division Street.

Originally, the crossings at Bowen Road, Davis Drive and Cooper, Center and Mesquite streets were set to close Wednesday for several days.

Now, the Bowen crossing is expected to be closed for only about four hours on Thursday, instead of four days. Union Pacific will replace track at the crossing at a later date, according to the city. Other roads will be closed simultaneously for several days, but under a slightly different schedule than previously announced.

Under the new schedule:

-- The Davis crossing will be closed from Thursday to Monday.

-- The crossings at Cooper, North Center and Mesquite streets will be closed to motorists from Friday to Tuesday.

-- The Collins Street and Stadium Drive crossings will be closed from Saturday to Wednesday.

-- The crossing at Great Southwest Parkway, in far east Arlington, is set to be closed Monday through Feb. 3.

Motorists in Arlington needing to cross the tracks can detour to West Green Oaks Boulevard, Forest Edge Drive, Fielder Road, West Street or Texas 360.

Besides laying new rail on the northern track, Union Pacific crews will replace 90,000 wooden ties with more durable concrete ties, change 24 track switches and renew roadway surfaces at 45 crossings in Fort Worth, Arlington, Grand Prairie and Dallas. The southern track between Fort Worth and Dallas will be replaced at a later date.

Residents can receive updates about the closures by calling 877-243-1350, visiting MyArlingtonTx.com/UP or following @CityofArlington on Twitter.

Susan Schrock, 817-709-7578

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