Sinkhole in West Point filled, crossing remaining closed

Published 8:30 am Thursday, September 28, 2023

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The sinkhole in West Point on Ninth Avenue has been filled in though the road is still closed to traffic due to the concern about large trucks getting stuck on the tracks.

During the West Point City Council work session, Councilmember DeeDee Williams asked City Manager Ed Moon for an update on the closed road. She said she has been concerned with the 18-wheeler trucks driving through downtown.

Moon said though the sinkhole has been filled, the city has kept West 9th Street and the train crossing closed for the time being.

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Many tractor-trailer trucks, motorhomes and trailers have trouble clearing the crossing due to issues with the grading there. Moon said there have been many trucks that got stuck on the tracks. 

“We’ve just got a real concern from public safety that if we get a truck stuck on the track, the train comes at the wrong time, and we wipe out downtown because of a train truck accident,” Moon said.

CSX Transportation owns part of the property and has made changes to the grade, which has caused an issue with the city’s street. 

“They’re not going to pay to have our issue fixed,” Moon said. “If we want to change the grade, then we’re going to have to change the grade on our city street to meet that.”

Moon said changing the grade could impact the water drainage beneath the road and fixing the grading will require hiring a contractor. 

For now, the city will keep the intersection closed to traffic. Moon said they have also considered closing the crossing completely due to citizens’ complaints about the traffic jam caused when drivers try to turn right at the crossing. 

Williams asked Moon whether there was a comprehensive plan for making updates to more of West Point’s infrastructure and drainage systems. Moon said the city created a comprehensive plan years ago and that the main obstacle is funding. 

“I think at that time that plan was about $35 million,” Moon said. 

According to Public Information Officer Cedarious Thomas, the city has yet to determine an estimated completion time for the investigation.