Mention Tony Clement – and CN jumps on crossing repairs in downtown Gravenhurst
GRAVENHURST — After years of driver complaints about rail crossing in Gravenhurst, it took less than two days to get action — and less than a day do a quick fix.
That’s because a threatened letter by the town to MP Tony Clement sparked CN Rail to act on two of five downtown crossing that are among the worst local drivers and those in town from the city have seen anywhere in Ontario.
Mayor Paisley Donaldson told Rotarians Monday at their noon meeting that the town finally got fed up and asked Clement to do something.
He told municipal officials to send him a letter.
When the town called to find out who the track supervisor for the area was (the third one in the past few yeas said Donaldson), the person was taken aback and said it didn’t need to go up the ladder, it could be taken care of locally.
So when CN found out the town was drafting a letter for Clement to sign and pass on to the transportation minister and his staff, CN got in gear.
That was Monday morning.
By Wednesday morning the trains were stopped and work on Philip and First streets crossing had commenced by about eight CN workers and eight Fowler Construction crew members.
By noon they were done adding a patch of asphalt to smooth the crossing on the two track lines.
It was a little smoother ride over it. And it feels like it will last the summer — or at least a week or so.
After lunch at the main crossing into town at the old train station at Brock Street and Bethune Drive, a couple dozen new 6×10-inch timbers were taken and out and replaced, some shoring up of the rails and some packing was added underneath it all. The old asphalt was dug out and a new paving was being done late in the afternoon.
Work was expected to be completed this evening.
There was no official word on work this week on the other three crossings — one on Muskoka Road at the Shopper’s Drug Mart, and two at the north end at Winewood Avenue and Bethune Drive; and just further north where they cross into the industrial park.
As well, the two different types of smoother, better weight-absorbing rubber crossings CN could have used were not used on this day.
However, it’s likely you could see the second rail line through downtown town pulled out this September and the Brock Street crossing could be fully paved over.
That would mean tearing up Wednesday’s timber and doing a full paving over of the crossing.
All this work for only a couple of trains through town in a day.
See 4 more photos below – click on photo to enlarge.
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