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Officials Hail New Gates At Notorious Stamford Metro-North Rail Crossing

DOT Commissioner James Redeker speaks while from left: Mayor David Martin, state Reps. Caroline Simmons and William Tong and state Sen. Carlo Leone look on during an announcement heralding safety improvements at the Riverbend rail crossing.
DOT Commissioner James Redeker speaks while from left: Mayor David Martin, state Reps. Caroline Simmons and William Tong and state Sen. Carlo Leone look on during an announcement heralding safety improvements at the Riverbend rail crossing. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

STAMFORD, Conn. -- A $1.27 million project will improve the safety at a Metro-North railroad crossing in Stamford that has seen four train vs. automobile accidents since 2005.

James Redeker, commissioner of the state Department of Transportation, joined Mayor David Martin and state Sen. Carlo Leone, and state Reps. William Tong and Caroline Simmons at a Thursday ceremony to unveil new crossing gates at the crossing near the Springdale station.

The Riverbend crossing off Hope Street is on the New Canaan Branch of the New Haven Line. The crossing leads to Riverbend Center, a 40-acre business park with 12 buildings.

Martin praised the work and cooperation among the public and private partners at the Thursday morning ceremony.

"I thank you all for something that is really something that will save somebody's life," Martin said. "And we will probably forget about it and that's the way it's supposed to be. This is not supposed to be any more news ever again except for a little announcement today."

Leone also said it was an example of cooperation among both levels of government, Metro-North and the owners of the Riverbend Center.

"This is really a community effort, that's what's really nice about this," he said. 

The safety improvements include the installation of new flashing lights and gates to block vehicular traffic when a train is going through the area. A total of 41 trains travel the branch each day, operating at a maximum speed of 40 mph. Previously, the crossing had flashing warning lights and bells, but no gates.

The safety enhancement project began April 9, and the crossing was reopened May 6.

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