TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

October 10, 2013

US 25E paving project, smoothening of RR tracks nearly complete


TIMES TRIBUNE (CORBIN, Ky.)

CORBIN — Special to The Times-Tribune

Work to repair and smoothen railroad tracks crossed by more than 18,000 vehicles a day on US 25E near Barbourville is nearing completion.

While repaving a 1.22 mile section of the Corbin to Barbourville Road, the Transportation Cabinet’s Knox County highway crew, along with Hinkle Contracting Corp., partnered with CSX Railroad to redo the track panels while improving both the rail line and vehicle crossing.

The concrete crossing was first installed in May 2011 with an asphalt base under the tracks. However, the crossing was installed with more super-elevation between tracks than necessary for the low-speed trains – 10 (mph) - traveling from CSX’s main line down the Corbin to Manchester Branch.

CSX Roadmaster Jimmy Hinkle worked with CSX’s Application Regional Engineer to reduce the super-elevation.

“By reducing the super-elevation between the tracks from an inch and a fourth, down to a half inch, it allowed the concrete track panels to be installed at a flatter grade, reducing impact to traffic,” said David Fuson, Project Engineer for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

“The concrete panels should provide 20 years of successful service at this highly traveled rail crossing,” said Michael Calebs, Engineering Branch Manager for the Department of Highways. “We expect the investment to be worth it and they will remain smooth throughout their service life. The goal is to provide a smooth crossing for the traveling public - one that will remain maintenance-free to lessen delays and impacts to traffic for years to come.”

Fuson said the project is nearing completion with pavement arrows for the turn lanes, cross bucks, stop bars, and rumble strips on shoulders to be installed and finished next week in time for the Daniel Boone Festival.  Hinkle Contracting was the asphalt paving contractor for the project. The cost to repave the section of roadway was $360,000.

“This is a great riding rail crossing,” said Sherri Chappell, chief district engineer for the Department of Highways District 11, which includes Bell, Clay, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Leslie and Whitley counties. “We are so appreciative of the cooperation between CSX, Hinkle Contracting, and our Highway Department work force to make this crossing smooth and durable for years to come. The improvements came about as a result of working together to provide a safer and smoother crossing that we can all enjoy.”