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Walker may shut down railroad crossings

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WALKER - City of Walker council members will decide Monday on whether to permanently shut down two railroad crossings.

Crossings on Sunset Lane and Mayer Street are the only ones without warning lights or cross arms to warn drivers of oncoming trains. Walker Mayor Rick Ramsey says the pending closures are a safety issue.

In the past four years two people have died at railroad crossings in Walker. That's why Walker leaders want to close unimproved crossings, but some residents do not want that to happen.

"They need to leave this railroad crossing open so that people can come in and won't have to drive all the way around to come on back in, because I don't see no reason why they should close it," said Michael Williams.

To install railroad crossing arms Ramsey says it would cost $400,000 for each railroad crossing. He says it doesn't make sense for the city to spend that money. However, residents feel the city should solve the problem by adding cross arms or just leave the crossings alone.

"They're looking at the money and we're looking at the safety. This is our means of getting out right here," said Harris Reams.

Ramsey says the state has also urged Walker to shut down the two crossings several times in the past. If the council does decide to close the crossings, it would not happen immediately.

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