The Ramsey County Commission took up a discussion about a railroad crossing west of the city on Hwy. 2 that many believe is a safety hazard.

The Ramsey County Commission took up a discussion about a railroad crossing west of the city on Hwy. 2 that many believe is a safety hazard.

The crossing, which is just off of Hwy. 2 on 75th Ave. in Grand Harbor Township, has reportedly been the site of two incidents between vehicles and trains in the past year. According to commissioner Jeff Frith, the layout of county roads in comparison to that section of track is a major cause of the issues.

“County roads are straight north and south, so you have kind of an angle that doesn’t match up,” Frith said.

Blaine Volk, who lives in Grand Harbor Township and whose property looks down on the crossing, reports that both incidents that he is aware of happened when drivers turned from Hwy. 2 onto 75th Ave. and were struck by trains heading west.

The last incident happened on Oct. 10 of this year when an Amtrak train collided with a Ford pickup truck, injuring both occupants.

Though Grand Harbor Township has a population of 163 according to information found at the Ramsey County website, traffic has increased at the crossing due to the closure of 76th Ave. and the construction of a fishing pier at the Channel A site, which is accessed via 75th Ave.

Commissioner Ed Brown estimated at Tuesday’s meeting that a signal and safety arm could cost as much as $750K, which BNSF Railway would cover.

According to Frith, the railroad would consider installing safety equipment only if the county was willing to make concessions.

“What they want is for (the township) to abandon another crossing up the road somewhere. That way they don’t have to put money into it down the road,” Frith said. “I’m sure it’s not a cheap endeavor. I can see where the railroad would like a trade-off.”

The commission took no action on the issue during Tuesday’s meeting, though it is likely to be revisited at future meetings.