Railroad Project Closing Several Major Arlington Intersections

Some Arlington businesses worry about road closures

By Mola Lenghi
|  Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013  |  Updated 10:07 PM CDT
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A major railroad project through Arlington that was supposed to begin Wednesday will start Thursday. Residents need to know several crossing will be closed.

Mola Lenghi, NBC 5 Arlington Reporter

A major railroad project through Arlington that was supposed to begin Wednesday will start Thursday. Residents need to know several crossing will be closed.

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Arlington has announced a change to planned closures at several railroad crossings that could make for a smoother ride.

Beginning Thursday, at least nine railroad crossings will be closed for a construction project.

The Bowen Road railroad crossing was originally scheduled to be closed for several days, but now will only be closed for a few hours on Thursday.

Other closures will include some of the city's major intersections at Cooper, Center, Mesquite and Collins streets. Click here for a schedule of the closures.

Though there will be simultaneous closures for several days at a time, not every intersection will be closed at the same time. The shutdowns will be staggered.

Arlington spokeswoman Rebecca Rodriguez recommends that drivers "plan ahead and use detours and to really work their way around Arlington, around the perimeter of Arlington."

She pointed to alternate routes as far west as Loop 820 and east as Highway 360.

Drivers aren't the only ones expecting to feel the pain during the course of construction.

Businesses that cling to the railroad in central Arlington are hoping their bottom lines are not derailed.

"We're centrally located, so we get a lot of folks from the north and the south here, and the campus is on the south side of us here," said Paul Checkeye, Grease Monkey Burgers manager.

Veronica Venable at Mellow Mushroom said she worries that potential customers will not want to go out of their way.

"There are so many restaurants in Arlington that I feel like the smallest thing can deter people -- you know, like, 'Oh, let's just go to Chili's; that's easier; that's closer.' So, I think it will have an impact," said Venable.

Some businesses are using the railroad project to attract customers in an attempt to soften the blow.

Checkeye said Grease Monkey would offer discounts to Union Pacific railroad workers and first responders with the city.

But, of course, they'll be waiting to get back to business as usual.

"I think we'll be just fine through this project, but I can't wait for it to be done," Checkeye said.

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