Lights and gates were unveiled Tuesday at a previously unmarked railroad crossing in Charleston with a history of accidents.
The new warning devices for the crossing at the intersection of Meeting Street and Cherry Hill Lane were announced at a press conference with Mayor Joe Riley and Councilman Jimmy Gallant, who represents the neighborhood containing the intersection.
"This railroad traffic signal has been long-needed," Riley said.
Work began on the project in 2005. Darrell Munn, rail and research engineer with the S.C. Department of Transportation, said the crossing has had three accidents since then, one of which involved injuries.
The crossing has been one of the most accident-prone crossings in the Charleston area, with 10 accidents in the last 10 years alone.
Munn estimated that the project would come at a cost of nearly $300,000. SCDOT will reimburse CSX, which completed the work on the installation, upon receipt of the final bill for the project.
The city said it has been working on improving warning devices at the crossing since 2001, but Riley and Gallant said efforts were galvanized after an accident in 2005 that sent a mother and her two children to the hospital. "I think everyone got on board after that accident," Gallant said.
He said he promised the woman he would do something about the crossing when he visited her in the hospital.
An accident in 2004 sent Michelle Rivers, her three children, and a driver on the other side of the crossing to the hospital after she failed to yield to a CSX train.
Munn said the project was simply a coincidence of timing and funding.