An earlier closure proposal in 1996 was defeated by citizen complaints and the lobbying efforts of then Mayor Margaret Broadwell together with then Commissioner Mark Silver-Smith (Morrisville) before the NC Dept. of Transportation, Rail Division. An agreement was reached on February 7, 1997 between the Town and the NC Board of Transportation, in agreement with the Resident Vice President of Norfolk Southern Railroad, to “allow the Barbee Road crossing to remain open and be equipped with safety lights and gates.” As stated in official documents, “the Barbee Road crossing will remain subject to closure pending initiation of additional rail service, including higher speed operations.” (This means track speeds exceeding 79mph.) “This issue will again be considered at a public input process for the high speed rail project at a future date”.
Tony Chiotakis, Director of Community Services for the Town of Morrisville stated recently that he had meetings with DOT Rail Division this past summer and was told “our agreement with NCRR is separate and apart from the DOT’s policy of keeping it open until the 79mph is reached.”
The time to speak out is now, both to the Morrisville Town Council and NCDOT Rail Division. The citizens were promised another public input process before closure of Barbee Rd. and then only when circumstances significantly changed for the Southern Railroad in train traffic and/or speed of trains. McCrimmon Parkway is the only other East-West corridor in the northern part of town.
& contact the NC DOT Rail Division:
Patrick Simmons , Director: email@example.com (919-733-7245 ext.263), or
Paul Worley, Engineering & Safety: firstname.lastname@example.org (919-715-8740).