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Track Trouble: Haughton residents concerned about rough train crossing, call it a safety hazard

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Dogwood resident Chuck Wilder is concerned this raised train track crossing is becoming a safety hazard. (Photo source: Erin Buchanan/KTBS) Dogwood resident Chuck Wilder is concerned this raised train track crossing is becoming a safety hazard. (Photo source: Erin Buchanan/KTBS)
(Photo source: Erin Buchanan/KTBS) (Photo source: Erin Buchanan/KTBS)
HAUGHTON, La. (KTBS) -

Rough train tracks aren't exactly a new problem but for some residents in Haughton, they weren't expecting to have to tackle this problem on Tall Pines Road less than six months after asphalt was laid.

"It's tearing up people's cars, their alignment, and it could cause a bad wreck."

Long-time Dogwood resident Chuck Wilder says cars fly through the busy road, some of them only slowing down at the last minute, and many not at all.

"This is the south entrance to Dogwood Subdivision, which is a big entrance."

He's sought help from local leaders, but so far all that's been done is to put up signs warning drivers of a bump ahead.

"All of them have tried to talk to KCS about fixing this problem, and we've had no luck so far," says Wilder.

That's because, technically, KCS isn't the one responsible for the repairs, though they own the track.

Residents expecting repairs would turn to a company called Watco, which leases the track from KCS.

"We've got a great street right here. We just spent a lot of money overlaying this road last year with all the subdivisions developments going in right here," says Bossier Parish District 2 Police Juror Glen Benton.

Benton says he feels the residents' frustrations, but an ordinance blocks the parish from doing work on any asphalt that touches the track for liability reasons.

Benton, like the residents, are left waiting for a solution.

"If they'd give us permission to grind it down, we could do that, but there again, it belongs to KCS."

"It's two-fold, you know, we shouldn't have to put up with this," Wilders says.

KTBS 3 News reached out to Watco Companies and spoke with their Director of Communications, Tracie VanBecelaere, who's based in Kansas.

She says she's been in contact with the local roadmaster, who says the road was initially improperly asphalted, because asphalt was laid too close to the tracks, causing it to buckle.

VanBecelaere adds that the roadmaster is working to contact both the parish and LA DOTD to find out exactly which agency did the work, so that it can be properly repaired.

In the meantime, drivers are urged to take it easy through that area and be aware of the condition of the track.

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