Design plans underway for crossing arms at 600W


The state is starting to work on getting crossing arms at the railroad crossing at County Road 600 West near Duff.

The Indiana Department of Transportation has assigned the project a work number and has started working on design plans. INDOT has sent the county a $2,000 bill as part of the costs for the design.

County Highway Supervisor Steve Berg presented the Dubois County Commissioners with the invoice at their meeting on Monday.

“We finally got some movement,” Berg said.

The effort to get the crossing arms started in September 2018 after the county heard from Velpen resident Sam Schwenk about the matter. Schwenk’s wife, Shelly, was injured Sept. 5, 2018, after her northbound vehicle collided with a train at the crossing; the accident totaled her car. She did not see the lights because the nearby cornfield created a blind spot and the lights were fuzzy and not easily visible in the daylight sun.

After that, the commissioners heard from other drivers about near misses at the crossing and not being able to see the flashing lights at certain times of the day because of the sun.

The county sent letters and information about the need for crossing arms to INDOT, which is responsible for protection at railroad crossings.

State officials have indicated that if the county is willing to help with the cost of the installation, the project could be done quicker, which the commissioners and Dubois County Council members consented to.

More than 1,000 vehicles travel on 600 West each day.

As part of the design, Berg said he expects to visit the site with INDOT representatives to see what is needed there.

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