Downtown Crossing to Get Fix This Week

The angled railroad crossing in downtown Hamilton has caused at least two bicycle crashes this summer. It will now be repaired.

The railroad crossing in downtown Hamilton will be repaired this week, starting Wednesday, to eliminate the danger to bicyclists.

The angled crossing has caused at least two bicycle cashes in recent weeks, including one last weekend where a Beverly woman was flipped over her handlebars when her bicycle tire got caught in a gap between a ail and the road pavement.

The work will begin on Wednesday morning, Sept. 19, Hamilton Police Lt. Scott Janes said in a written news release. The work will again continue on Friday, Sept. 21.

The work hours each day will be 12 a.m. through 12 p.m.

A variable message board has also been put up at the crossing to alert drivers to the upcoming construction.

One lane on Bay Road (Route 1A) will be closed during the work hours and Hamilton police said drivers should expect delays through the area during that time.

The work will be conducted by the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co. the company with the contract to run the commuter rail system for the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority.

"We're in the process of working with the town to make sure all necessary repairs that may be needed in the future are addressed,” said MBCR spokeswoman Rhiannon D’Angelo. She also noted that right after last weekend’s crash, “we filled in any holes we could find.”

After the crash, a letter signed by 48 bicyclists from the North Shore sent a letter to state Secretary of Transportation Richard A. Davey, Acting MBTA General Manager Jonathan Davis and state Department of Transportation Highway Division Administrator Frank DePaola telling them seven experienced cyclists have fallen at the crossing in the past eight months.

“Cyclists go down when their wheels slip into the spaces between the pavement (which itself is not well maintained) and the metal rails,” the letter states. “And, as the intersection is heavily trafficked by cars and trucks, the situation is very hazardous.”

The letter also includes a photo from the Beach Street crossing in Manchester-by-the-Sea that they say has a rubberized crossing that is needed in Hamilton.

A copy of the letter, plus the construction alert from Hamilton police, are attached to this story as a PDF.

This story has been updated to indicate that the MBCR spokesman's name is Rhiannon D’Angelo.

Melanie D'Orio September 17, 2012 at 10:41 AM
Greatness news! Thank you for A seemingly quick response to the plea for repair!
Melanie D'Orio September 17, 2012 at 10:41 AM
That's "great" news!
Robert Smallman September 19, 2012 at 04:15 PM
I had a crash at this location on 2/1/12 resulting in a broken right femur and shoulder separation. I didn't realize that my plight was shared by so many others. Why does it take so long for this sort of problem to be addressed? It's great that this is getting addressed! Bob Smallman, Wenham


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