TURKEY — With goals to make railroad improvements, Mayor Donald Myers and town officials were pleased to see workers fix a drainage issue.
During a Tuesday meeting, Myers spoke about the huge step which involved a visit from the North Carolina Department of Transportation and CSX Transportation. Myers contacted officials about a ditch and drainage problem, which caved about 5 to 6 feet under the railroad, near the flashing caution light on N.C. 24.
“I’m just thankful that it’s being done,” Myers said. “If we had a hurricane, we would have some flooding backup from that ditch,” he said.
Myers commended state and railroad officials for their response. Commissioner Max Pope also showed appreciation to Myers for reaching out to officials to correct the problem.
“As a board we need to commend the mayor for his work in putting those two groups together and being relentless until they came together,” Pope said referring to the results. “There was a lot of work involved.”
Workers dug under the railroad to remove deteriorating pipes and replace it with new tubing, connected to large concrete boxes for reinforcement. The town did not have to pay for the labor provided by CSX and piping materials provided by DOT.
“I’m glad we got it done,” Myers said. “There was some talk of town having to do it, but we couldn’t. There was no way we could do it (without permission).”
Dirt was placed back into the hole and covered with railroad ties and rocks so trains can travel through Turkey. The rain effected work Tuesday.During the Tuesday evening meeting, Myers reported that work will continue Wednesday for completion when the dirt is removed again.
“If everything goes well, we’ll finish it in the morning,” Myers said.
In previous months, the mayor spoke with railroad officials to remove sidetrack items from the spur track to help fix blight issues. Permission was also asked to place dirt on one side of the track with hopes of growing grass, so it can be mowed. The town will look into costs for the dirt and grass idea.
“But first, we’ll have to get it cleaned up and I don’t know how long it’s going to take to get the right people down here,” Myers said about having railroad officials come back to Turkey.
Some of the other efforts includes trash removal and leveling existing rocks for a better appearance. In the future, drainage work in the area will continue as part of a paving project for N.C. 24.
“When they pave Highway 24, they’re going to dig all that up across the road and put in new tile there too,” Myers said.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Myers said the paving project through Turkey may start in about a year.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.