Expect delays on West Laurel Street on Sept. 3 because of a broken train rail.
The Burlington Northern Railroad that runs through the CSU campus has a damaged rail at the intersection of Laurel Street and South Mason Street, and the intersection will be either partially or completely closed on September 3 and possibly September 4. Laurel is the street that runs along the north side of the CSU campus.
It was originally reported that the intersection would close on Monday, but Fort Collins city officials convinced Burlington Northern to change the date of repair because of the heavy volume on Laurel on the first day of classes at CSU.
“(Burlington Northern) doesn’t want to take a chance of derailment,” said Syl Mireles of the City of Fort Collins Traffic. “Trains have to slow way down.”
Because of the current damage on the rail, trains have to slow to 10 mph when traveling over the intersection. Usually the trains travel at about 15 mph, said Mike Herzig, special projects engineer for the city of Fort Collins. About a 50 percent delay is expected at all intersections of the rail in Fort Collins when trains come by, Herzig said.
However, he said the delay in the repair was needed because the first day of classes has a high volume of traffic on Laurel and many of the businesses on the north side of Laurel near Mason were concerned about loss of business. Businesses such as the Rams Bookstore usually have high volume when the semester begins.
“Business owners were concerned because of timing,” Herzig said. “It would be a nightmare.”
A traffic plan has not yet been agreed upon for the September 3 repair. Mireles said a full closure of the intersection would likely be needed. However, Herzig said only about 2 feet of asphalt needs to be repaired and some traffic flow may be able to pass by.
For more information on the broken rail or any other road closures in Fort Collins, call the City of Fort Collins Traffic at 221-6630 or visit their Web site at www.fcgov.com.