The CSX railroad crossing in Oak Grove was closed Wednesday and today in order for repairs to be made but everyone affected was far from informed.
Closing the crossing doesn't just cause a minor inconvenience to the residents and employees of Oak Grove. There's no quick detour around the work. Instead, it adds about 20 minutes extra each trip to avoid the crossing.
CSX did inform businesses and residents in one specific area about the repairs but there was no notice beyond that.
There was no real public outreach or attempt to get the information out to the area in general. No notices were sent to media to distribute and residents who heard rumors were calling the paper to see when the closure would be and what the detour was because they would be impacted. When newspaper staff tried to get details from CSX, no one would provide any. The fact that people were confused means the information was not distributed adequately.
We feel like next time CSX needs to do more.
It's OK that they needed to do work and if they needed to close the tracks to do it, then fine. But the public needs to know to avoid that area and that they need to add a significant amount of travel time to their day if they need to go somewhere in the Oak Grove area or pass through. It's not just those who are there every day who travel those roads. Many use that route to get from Marietta to Waterford and beyond.
A detour may seem like a small thing but when you're late for work, or miss an appointment, it can become a bigger deal.
Our city and county officials, as well as ODOT, always work hard to get the word out about projects that will impact traffic. We hope next time CSX does the same, for the entire community.