Motorists should expect periodic road closures and detours in Arlington this month as Union Pacific replaces 13 miles of rail line that cuts through the heart of the city.
Only two railroad crossings at a time will be closed during work to replace the south rail, which runs between Division and Abram streets, city officials said. Crews are scheduled to work from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. each day, and train horns will sound for worker safety, even in established quiet zones, officials said.
The crossings at Center and Mesquite streets downtown are expected to close Jan. 16 and reopen Jan. 18, and the Cooper Street and Davis Drive crossings are set to close Jan. 18 and reopen Jan. 20.
The Great Southwest Parkway and Bowen Road crossings are scheduled to close Jan. 20 and reopen Jan. 22, while the Collins Street crossing is set to close Jan. 22 and reopen Jan. 24.
Motorists in Arlington experienced road closures and detours in 2013 when Union Pacific replaced the north rail. Last time, however, the company closed five crossings for five days.
“We’re not anticipating a traffic snarl like last time. Will there be heavier traffic? Yes, but it won’t be like last time,” said Mindy Carmichael, with the city’s Public Works and Transportation Department.
The city also got to select which crossings would be closed on what dates. For example, Cooper Street was closed on its lowest traffic volume days. And because the University of Texas at Arlington resumes classes Jan. 20, the city decided to close the two crossings that are the farthest away from the campus that day, she said.
“We tried to strategically pick the dates around things that were going on in the city,” Carmichael said.
Susan Schrock, 817-390-7639