At Monday night’s Marlborough Town Board meeting, Supervisor Al Lanzetta announced that the town recently won a ruling to establish an at-grade pedestrian crossing about 25 feet south of the existing crossing on Dock Road by the Milton Landing Park.
In November 2018 the Town of Marlborough petitioned for modifications to the crossing and on January 24, 2019 the matter went before Alicia McNally, Administrative Law Judge, Office of Proceedings for the NYS Department of Transportation [DOT]. In her ruling Judge McNally stated that, “I find that the modifications, as described, are wholly within the public interest.”
There were several conditions attached to the ruling that the Town, CSX Railroad and the DOT must agree upon: making sure that emergency services, law enforcement and maintenance still have access to the riverfront park. In addition, all entities must make a “good faith effort” to agree upon the appropriate fencing that will run along the western side of the railroad tracks, taking into consideration aesthetic and safety concerns for the public.
A design for the new pedestrian crossing must be submitted to the DOT’s Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety section for review and that warning devices installed at the new crossing must meet all applicable Federal, State and railroad safety standards.
When constructing the crossing, all permits must be obtained and the work must be done by August 30, 2022 or the DOT will rescind their approval and no further action by the department will be taken.
It was noted that improvements should be made to the original entrance, with the addition of lights, gates, warning devices beyond the existing single bell and pavement markings.
Supervisor Al Lanzetta said he was guided through the process by Greg Hart, Regional Rail Coordinator for the Department of Transportation, that brought the matter for making modifications to the existing crossing to a hearing.
“I had to justify to the Department of Transportation and I had letters suggesting where the crossing should be,” Lanzetta said.
Lanzetta said the recent favorable letter points out that the town, “is in pretty good shape. I think there are a few things that we have to iron out but I think we’ll get a crossing. I’m ecstatic after all these years, pushing, pushing and pushing. We’ve been tying to do this since we purchased the [park] property in 2009.”
Lanzetta has said many times that the town has an easement to cross the railroad tracks.
“That’s our right, it’s deeded. We looked into that before we bought the property,” he said. “They can’t close that off and not allow us to walk across those railroad tracks, but now we’re going to move [it] a little south.”