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Navasota Seeks Solution to Train Problem

By: Lindsay Liepman
By: Lindsay Liepman

The city of Navasota has always been divided.

Two train tracks running through the middle of town often stops traffic and holds up emergency vehicles.

But now city hall has a plan that will keep traffic and the trains moving smoothly.

"It's been a problem since the community was founded back in 1866," says City Manager Ed Broussard.

Navasota doesn't have much traffic, except when the trains come through.

"It's a double-edged sword for Navasota, we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the railroad lines, but at the same time it's causing a bit of a headache," says Broussard.

Broussard says 8 thousand vehicles travel through downtown Navasota every day.

Trains often block traffic. And when they do, there's no easy way around them.

Now, the city council is working with TxDot and Congressman Chet Edwards to build an overpass.

"This is a long term project for us. We hope the planning and engineering can be done in the next five years and then construction beginning in the next six to ten years, so this isn't a quick fix for us but we're very interested in getting started," says Broussard.

Police Chief Joe Hester says a more serious problem the trains pose is blocking emergency vehicles.

"There have been times when I got stopped by one train and before I could get the call a second train is on the other track and I get stuck in the middle," says Chief Hester.

But traffic and emergency services are not the only problems. What the trains carry as cargo is a concern too.

"There's a lot of hazardous cargo that goes through. A lot of tankers that carry all sorts of chemicals that if you have a leak we would have to evacuate probably most of downtown," says Chief Hester.

But short of moving the tracks, Navasota residents will continue to live with the trains that run through town, even when the overpass is built.

At this time there is no specific location for the overpass.


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