New safety gates now operational at deadly railroad crossing in - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New safety gates now operational at deadly railroad crossing in Louisville

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Louisville railroad crossing where three teens were killed in March now has a new safety feature.

It’s welcome news for residents and council members who have been demanding new crossing gates for months.

"The first time I didn't have a clue what it was," said neighbor Paulette Smith.

But now, when a train hits a car, she knows it. Smith has lived next to the tracks at Buechel and Crawford Avenues for more than 15 years.

"As soon as you hear it you know exactly what it is and what's happened," said Smith.

The intersection has been notoriously dangerous.

In March, three teenagers died and another survived when a train hit their car.

In August two more were hurt when a train hit their truck. Stop signs were installed after that accident.

In November, Norfolk Southern Railroad started putting in new gates after signing an agreement with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. As of Monday, they were finally up and running.

"It's wonderful,” said Smith, “it's bound to stop the ones that don't look or that otherwise would've tried to beat the train hopefully this will stop them."

"I know Paulette is grateful so much for this because she doesn't want to come out her front door again and see a mangled car and wonder if somebody is dead or alive in it," said District 10 Councilman Pat Mulvihill.

He’s finishing the term of the late Jim King. He’s the metro council president who died in office earlier this year and always had a goal to see this project completed.

"You want to make sure drivers stop and think and certainly now with warning signals and gates hopefully, you know, that will do it," said Mulvihill.

The added safety features will hopefully prevent another accident. Meaning residents like Paulette Smith may never have to hear a train hit another car.

“It's not a sound I ever want to hear again,” said Smith.

Smith says another benefit for neighbors is that once the gates come down, the bells that used to ring until a train passed now shut off.

PLEASE NOTE: On Monday, WDRB reported that the new railroad crossing at Buechel and Crawford Avenues also now has a computer system near the tracks that can actually stop the train if a car is stalled at the crossing. WDRB was given incorrect information. Representatives from Norfolk Southern Railroad say that is not accurate and that technology does not exist. We apologize for the error. A correct version of the story appears above.

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