Concerns About Crossing
A Moberly commuter heading into Columbia died at the intersection of 63 and the Colt Railway. His car hit a stopped truck at a railroad crossing. City officials are hoping to minimize accidents by restructuring the intersection.
64-year-old Ralph Haller died at the intersection of Highway 63 and the Colt Railway in Columbia on Thursday. Columbia Water and Light spokesperson Daniel Dasho said the accident is a red flag.
"Well I think as the accident points out to all of us, it's a very urgent need. We need to have something happen as soon as possible," explained Dasho.
Robert Thomas has lived in Columbia since 1958. He travels the intersection often.
"To have a railroad like Colt coming once maybe a week on that track and have everybody stop and traffic coming behind them. [I] don't understand what they're stopping for," Thomas said.
State law requires that some vehicles stop at railroad crossings even though the surrounding traffic drives 70 miles an hour. Vehicles that stop at railroad tracks include trucks carrying hazardous materials, tractor trailers and school buses.
City officials are hoping to make the intersection safer by building a bridge to cut down on the accidents. It costs $4.6 million, but the city is coming up short.
"The difficulty is, is it's a very big number and right now we do not have the money on hand to do a project like that," Dasho said.
The city plans to sit down with MoDOT to see if there are any funds available to help with the project. In the meantime, he says that commuters should be aware of possible stopped vehicles at the intersection.