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Frustration mounts in Muncie as railroad construction closes crossings

UPDATE: The railroad crossing at Kilgore Avenue and State Road 32 was open Wednesday morning, according to a tweet by Delaware County Emergency Management, but all crossings west of there to the Jackson Street crossing west of County Road 600 west remain closed.

MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH) — Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour says the city government was told by Norfolk Southern the main railroad track in Muncie would be repaired.

Originally, the company wanted to do it all at once before the city government convinced Norfolk Southern to do it in sections.

Now, the biggest issue is the construction cuts through one of the city’s main road traffic thoroughfares at Tillotson Avenue.

“It’s been a challenge. Tillotson is the second-busiest road and it runs right by Ball State (University) and IU (Health Ball Memorial) Hospital. It’s been a challenge for people,” the Republican mayor said.

The repairs have, so far, lasted a couple of weeks, and residents are getting frustrated. Larry Covington lives in nearby Yorktown and says it’s all a massive headache. “It’s not just a challenge for me but for everyone that commutes back and forth from one side of town to the other. It’s a mess.”

The Delaware County Emergency Management Agency has an interactive map showing current closures, but, Covington says, the closed crossings seem to be always changing.

The Muncie city government has started guiding complaint calls to Norfolk Southern, but when News 8 tried to call the two numbers, both were disconnected.

The mayor says residents are not alone in their frustrations. Ridenour said, “We feel the same frustration, but we know it’s temporary. Once it’s finished, it’s a lot like any infrastructure, it’s a real pain when you’re going through it, but it’s usually much better once it’s finished.”