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Clark calls on CSX to upgrade crossings in Norfolk, Norwood

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NORFOLK - In response to several conversations with concerned constitutents early in his tenure as a St. Lawrence County legislator representing District 12, Jason A. Clark has penned a detailed letter to CSX Transportation concerning what he calls their unacceptable condition of their grade crossings in Norfolk and Norwood.

Mr. Clark said he conducted a series of self-inspections and used that information to provide individual assessments for each of the 10 crossings owned by CSX in the district that were detailed in the letter that was mailed on Oct. 7. He also provided color photographs of each crossing that he determined to be “unsatisfactory,” “highly unsatisfactory” or “nearly impassable” in order to ensure that there was no misunderstanding of the gravity of the issue at the CSX regional office in Selkirk.

Mr. Clark requested that Maurice O’Connell, resident vice president of Public Affairs and former staff member to the New York State Senate Committee on Transportation, travel to the district and make his own determination about the condition of the crossings.

Mr. Clark expects that such a visit will provide an opportunity for the two to discuss a schedule where the condition of the crossings could be improved to satisfactory.

Subsequent to sending the letter, Mr. Clark said he has been in contact with the Freight Bureau of the New York State Department of Transportation, the Governor’s office and New York State Senator Joseph Griffo.

According to Legislator Clark, “The condition of these crossings are unacceptable and have been for years. To have this many crossings deficient in one concentrated area is something that needs to be addressed and I expect that Maurice will afford the residents of Norfolk and Norwood the opportunity to present their case. He can only do that though by assessing the problem for himself.”

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A copy of Legislator Clark’s letter to CSX Transportation:

Dear Maurice:

As it has been some time since we last communicated, I hope that you have been well. As you may not be aware, I wanted to let you know that I was recently appointed by the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators to fill a legislative vacancy in District 12, where I now represent the town of Norfolk in its entirety and part of the town of Potsdam including the village of Norwood in its entirety. CSX operates considerable track infrastructure throughout the district.

During my brief tenure as a legislator, I have spoken with several constitutents who have expressed concern about the maintenance of many of your grade crossings located in the district. In response to their concerns, I have made an initial assessment of those crossings. My findings are as follows:

Satisfactory:

Brouse Road in Norfolk

Adams Road in Norfolk

Unsatisfactory:

County Route 47 in Norfolk

Highly Unsatisfactory:

County Route 38 in Norfolk

Old Market Road in Norfolk

County Route 49 in Norfolk

Nearly Impassable:

Gladding Road in Norfolk

Mill Road in Norfolk

Murphy Road in Norfolk

Whitney Road in Norwood

Those described as Nearly Impassable have already done damage to local vehicles (including a town owned snow plow) and have the potential to cause serious human injury, as motor vehicles are often made airborne while crossing, even at speeds under 15 MPH. I believe that my constituents have every right to be concerned, if not down right angry, about the condition of the crossings listed above.

By comparison, the 11 crossings that I inspected throughout the district that are currently operated by the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority are, with the exception of those on Cedar Street and the Austin Ridge Road, generally satisfactory. I have attached a series of photographs with descriptions so that you may be able to better understand the local concern.

As these crossings are located on both county routes and town and village roadways, I have discussed this matter with Hon. Charles Pernice, supervisor of the town of Norfolk, Hon. Marie Regan, supervisor of the town of Potsdam; and Hon. James McFaddin, mayor of the village of Norwood. We are in concurrence that the maintenance of these crossings needs to be improved in short order.

I hope that you will accept this as an invitation to join some of my colleagues and I in a local discussion and tour in order to begin devising a solution to very serious problem. As you were recently in Canton, I know that you are amenable to working on resolving St. Lawrence County matters. I look forward to the opportunity to work with you again.

Sincerely,

Jason Clark, Legislator

District 12

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