Four railroad crossings in Palmetto have been added to those in Manatee County that will be closed for maintenance work next month, officials said Tuesday.
The Palmetto crossings — at Fifth, Ninth and 11th streets west and 11th Street Drive West — are expected to close Nov. 4 and not reopen for at least a week as CSX Transportation works on its main line.
No major disruptions are expected because “they’re kind of neighborhood streets, (with) little traffic,” said Allen Tusing, the city’s public works director.
But Tusing said he nixed CSX’s request to close the Seventh Street West crossing, saying that would have been too disruptive.
“With the 17th Street construction going on, I couldn’t have two major east-west corridors shut down,” he said.
Another major crossing in the city, on 10th Street West, will remain open because it is not part of the maintenance project.
Beginning Monday, CSX will replace cross ties, install new track bed and perform other maintenance along its main line through Manatee County. The work, which will begin near 44th Avenue East south of Bradenton and move northward toward the Hillsborough County line, also includes closing 16 road crossings for seven to 10 days each for repaving.
The projected schedule of closings:
n Beginning Monday: Crossings at 26th, 30th, 32nd and 37th avenues east south of Bradenton.
n Beginning Tuesday: Crossings at Ninth Avenue/Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and 13th Avenue/Third Street East in Bradenton.
n Beginning Nov. 4: Crossings at Fifth, Ninth and 11th streets west and 11th Street Drive West in Palmetto.
n Beginning Nov. 8: Crossings at 39th Street East; 49th Street East/Experimental Farm Road; 61st Street East/Palm View Road; 73rd Street East; 77th Street East; and Bishop Harbor Road in northern Manatee.
Bradenton officials plan to close the crossings within their city at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday and reopen them at midnight Nov. 8, city spokesman Tim McCann said.
While the crossings will be closed for 24 hours a day, it won’t stop a familiar local sight: Tropicana juice trains running on the rails.
“Our business will not be impacted as Tropicana juice will still be transported via CSX on a modified schedule,” spokeswoman Gina Judge wrote in an e-mail.
CSX spokesman Gary Sease said the railroad typically allows trains to use its tracks during hours when maintenance work is not being done. The railroad’s engineering crews typically work 12-hour daytime shifts Mondays through Thursdays, he said.
Duane Marsteller, Herald staff writer, can be reached at 745-7080, ext. 2630.