• 34°

Railroad track replacement to cause road closures in Harrodsburg

HARRODSBURG — Railroad company Norfolk Southern will begin replacing railings on railroad tracks that run through Boyle and Mercer counties starting next week.

“Railroad tracks are a lot like highways and streets,” Norfolk Southern public relations manager David Pidgeon said. “The more you use them, the more they have to be maintained.” 

Norfolk will be replacing the steel railings on the tracks in order for the railroad to operate safely, he said. 

The main rail replacement project will start in February and will take about a month, but starting next week, workers will be replacing track panels along College Street and Lexington Avenue in Harrodsburg. 

Starting Dec. 6 at 8 a.m., College Street will be closed to replace the track panel, Pidgeon said. He said workers will dig up the road, remove the track and replace the panel, then resurface the road. 

Norfolk Southern plans to complete that project by the evening of Wednesday, Dec. 7. 

After College Street is finished, the railroad company will do the same thing the following week at the Lexington Avenue crossing, beginning on Dec. 13.

Pidgeon said Norfolk Southern will be delivering new railing to the area and offloading the materials next to the tracks starting next week. 

Pidgeon said people will see a lot of industrial material on the tracks, and there will be flaggers along the railroad to help with traffic.

“This is all being done in anticipation of the project happening in a couple of months,” he said. 

Workers are completing the College Street and Lexington Avenue crossings first so they can remain open while the rest of the rail replacement project is going on, Pidgeon explained.

If the tracks were not replaced, trains would have to slow down from a normal speed for 45 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour in order to travel safely, Pidgeon said.

“By replacing the track, we can maintain that same speed and occupy them much longer,” he said. “This is a short term project that has benefits in the long-run.”

SO YOU KNOW

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has announced closings for two railroad crossings in Harrodsburg that will allow for track at the crossings to be replaced:

• U.S. 127/College Street closure: 8 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6 through 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7

• U.S. 68/Lexington Street closure: 8 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13 through 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14.

The Transportation Cabinet recommends drivers use the U.S. 127 Bypass to detour around the closures.