Off track

There was a time in this fair land when the railway did not run. Except now it does – smack through the middle of town.

THERE was a time in this fair land when the railway did not run.

Except now, with apologies to Gordon Lightfoot, it does – smack through the middle of town.

Or, if you are CN, Terrace chose to build itself up on either side of the tracks so whatever happens, it can’t be its fault.

Now add in the provincial government’s Hwy16 which also divides the city, including the choke point double dogleg Sande Overpass, and you have a transportation nightmare caused by a set of historical unintended consequences.

Long term, as the city has pointed out for years, the solution is a second overpass. Where and what shape is first an engineering puzzle and then an economic one as in who pays.

Short term, as the city points out (with CN agreeing), is a set of lights at the Frank St. intersection of Hwy16 timed with CN’s own lights where its tracks cross Frank. That way, when a train approaches, the highway lights will stop highway traffic allowing Frank St. traffic to clear the tracks and proceed safely onto Hwy16 before CN’s gates come down. This is how it’s done at the Kenney St. level rail crossing so rocket science it is not.

A Frank St. solution would not be perfect. But it would buy time to work on the far more complicated second overpass.

All that it takes is leadership and good will by all parties. Can that be too much to request?