A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH is in effect for Lee County until 4am. A line of strong to severe thunderstorms -- containing gusty winds, heavy rain, thunder, & lightning -- is sliding east toward the Brazos Valley. Rain & storms are expected in the area through the pre-sunrise hours.
The Bryan City Council voted to pass three of the seven railroad crossing closures at Tuesday night's meeting.
There will be a second reading October 12th for 20th, 21st and Pease streets.
Council members were in discussion about closing seven railroad crossings in the downtown area in exchange for up to $256,000 that would go toward street improvement projects.
Union Pacific would pay the money and sell two acres that the city has been trying to buy for three years. But some council members are against closing off the routes.
"There's some crossings that need to be closed and are not being used very much. But the downtown area needs to remain, because people go in and out of there everyday," Councilman Joe Marin says.
Council members looked at crossings at Sims, 16th, 20th, 21st, Pease and two at 32nd street. TXDOT officials say it's a safety issue. Each crossing lacks flashing lights and has only a sign to warn of trains crossing.
"We don't want to close a crossing that's gonna cause people to get where they need to go. They're may be other routes that people have to take that's a little bit less convenient," says Robert Appleton, Director of Transportation Planning and Development.
Marin says TXDOT needs to upgrade what they have now for safety purposes.
Closing the streets at each crossing would leave several downtown roads with dead-ends from both directions. Crossings that didn't have much traffic driving through each day qualified for closure from a study conducted in 2001.
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