Steps taken to boost safety at intersection

New crossing and stop signs stand at the intersection of County Road 3540 and Burlington Northern Railroad tracks Tuesday. A Pontotoc County resident almost struck a train at that crossing last week. She said she was unaware of the train’s approach until it was almost too late. Now the county is working with Oklahoma Department of Transportation officials to try and improve safety at that crossing.

Richard R. Barron
www.theadanews.com

District 2 Pontotoc County Commissioner Randy Floyd and fellow commissioners wasted little time Monday making a potentially dangerous Pontotoc County railroad crossing safer.

 The close scrutiny at this crossing comes in the aftermath of a near-collision last week involving Pontotoc County resident Miranda Wood and her 13-year-old daughter, Starla, at the Simmons Road crossing (FM 3540).

 Only the sound of the train’s whistle as it rounded a bend about 50 yards from the crossing alerted Miranda to the approaching danger.

 She was able to hit her brakes but slid, she said, to within inches of the track.

 Floyd said at Monday’s regularly-scheduled commissioners meeting that he has had installed two stop  signs at the Simmons Road (CR 3540) railroad crossing, one on the west side of the track and one on the east side.

Commissioners also passed a proposal made by Floyd to lower the speed limit on Simmons Road from 35 miles an hour to 25 miles an hour.

With little discussion, the commissioners voted unanimously to approve the new speed limit.

“The 35-mile-per-hour speed limit signs are still up because we haven’t got the new ones in yet,” Floyd said. “They’ll probably be in some time next week.”

That’s when residents of the subdivison will begin to notice the speed change and need to work in a little extra time to get in and out of the area.

In addition, District 1 Commissioner Gary Starns spoke with State Sen. Susan Paddock about the Simmons Road crossing on Monday, and on Tuesday, representatives with the railroad division of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation contacted the commissioners and told them they would be in Ada the second week of September to take up the matter with county officials.

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