Railroad plans to fix crossing

North Charleston erected a sign at the East Montague Avenue crossing after receiving complaints about the repairs.

North Charleston's feud with CSX railroad showed signs of cooling this week when it was announced that the rail line would fix the bumpy crossing on East Montague Avenue next to North Charleston High School.

The crossing has been a battle site for weeks after city officials and local drivers complained that the uneven road conditions were perilous to cars, even at slow speeds.

The pavement was in such bad shape that the city installed a sign at the crossing with CSX's phone number

telling drivers where to file their complaints.

Mayor Keith Summey said Wednesday he hoped that the repairs mean the city and the railroad can become better neighbors. But he added, "I don't think it hurt" by directing angry drivers to where they could telephone in their complaints.

Earlier this summer, the city put up signs reading, "This crossing recently repaired by CSX. If unhappy with it, please call 1-877-835-5279." The number is the railroad's 1-800 "Tell CSX" line.

CSX's media affairs office did not respond to several phone messages Wednesday.

The repair work means that East Montague near Spruill Avenue will be closed beginning Tuesday through Sept. 12, North Charleston officials said. Traffic will be redirected to local detour routes.

Summey said CSX is being more responsive to complaints in recent times, though he noted one train was ticketed by the city a week ago for blocking an intersection too long.

"They're not being as bad at the crossings and blocking them as much as they were," he said, adding that industrial, business and residential areas can coexist, "but we have to have a mutual respect for each other."

Two other CSX crossings posted with call CSX signs by the city were at Spruill and Bexley Street and Bexley and South Rhett Avenue.