County shatters Glass traffic barrier|[01/31/08]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 31, 2008

An impediment for motorists and emergency vehicles for years, a rail trestle over Glass Road in south Warren County is being removed in a project expected to take the remainder of the week.

Lanes in both directions along a 600-foot stretch of roadway will be closed at least through today to enable work crews to take down the long-abandoned overpass, Warren County Road Department Manager Richard Winans said.

Pilings supporting the overpass in the middle of the east and westbound lanes near private Thomas Drive and two other wooden piers on county right-of-way will be taken out and cut back to ground level, Winans said. If weather conditions allow, the asphalt below will be resurfaced this week.

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Once part of Kansas City Southern Railway’s southbound track through Vicksburg and Warren County, the line has not been active for years. Grass and weeds have overgrown the remains of the rail bed, scattered with aging spikes and rotted crossties.

Efforts to have the low-set structure removed for easier access by larger trucks and ambulances have been ongoing for at least eight years, Winans said.

Posted clearance of the trestle was just 9 feet, 5 inches. KCS still owns the structure itself, but talks to take down parts physically on county property picked up pace in recent months.

“I’m very happy,” District 4 Supervisor Bill Lauderdale said. “It’s been a big problem for a lot of people for a long time.”

A clue as to how long the trestle has been in place could be seen on a long piece of rail tracking taken down from its side.

“It was stamped on there that it was made in Tennessee in 1946,” Winans said.