In a News 12 followup, Union Pacific responds to some heated opposition over the closing of a railroad crossing.
Shreveport wants to open a crossing on a newly developed area near Bert Kouns. To do that, Union Pacific says the city must close the Levy Street crossings.
Those crossings are seen as an essential route for industrial traffic.
Businesses in that area have voiced strong opposition, and so have city leaders.
Union Pacific tells News 12 that it comes down to a safety issue, and Louisiana sits at a very high rate for fatalities, so increasing the number of crossings is not an option.
The city is now looking for alternatives.
From Oct. 9
The City of Shreveport is growing, that process unavoidably involves railroads. an area called West Shreveport Industrial Park is developing, the city wants to open a railroad crossing here. To do that, Union Pacific requires the city to close two crossings, one on Levy Street. "I don't think it's proper to close it," says City Councilman Monty Walford. He believes closing Levy's crossing is a very bad idea. "It's not like going one block out of the way, one block is closed," says Walford. Those who drive Levy Street every day agree. "It's amazing that we were here ten years ago, we thought it was a very quiet street, and it ends up there is a lot of cut through traffic," says Tommy Brooks. The route around the Levy Street railroad crossing is lengthy and irritating to those drivers, but there is more at stake than just being irritated, there are several businesses in the area that would be affected by the closing. "We've got to go over Texas Street, down Texas Street, past Lakeshore Drive over to Lynnwood, come back over, back to 49 and get on," says Brooks, who is also one of the business owners. Brooks believes his business and those of his neighbors will suffer if they lose the crossing. "We do not want this and we will oppose it as much as we can," says Brooks. "Frankly, I don't think this is the way to do business and that Union Pacific would want to hold up economic development," says Councilman Walford. Strangely enough, development is what the city was trying to achieve with the opening of the railroad crossing at the West Shreveport Industrial Park.
Story by Fred Childers