Bilirakis Urges Action on CSX Crossing Arm Malfunctions in Pasco County
Bilirakis discussed solutions to the ongoing crossing arm issues with a CSX official in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. – Following reports about the ongoing malfunction of CSX-controlled crossing arms at the intersection of U.S. 41 and State Route 54 in Pasco County, Florida, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) urged CSX to take remedial action. Bilirakis penned a letter to CSX, and met with company officials in Washington, D.C., to express his concerns in addressing this potential public safety issue.
Please see below for the full text of the letter, and click here to view a PDF.
Chief Operating Officer, CSX Corporation
500 Water Street, 15th Floor
Jacksonville, FL 32202
RE: Crossing Arm Malfunctions at Intersection of U.S. 41 and S.R 54
Dear Ms. Sanborn:
As the federal representative of Pasco County, I write to express my concerns regarding the ongoing malfunction of CSX controlled crossing arms at the intersection of U.S. 41 and State Route 54. I have appreciated your swift and remedial action when I have reached out to you in the past, and I expect you will act with equal concern in addressing this potential public safety issue.
These roads serve as an important hub for commuters with approximately 100,000 vehicles traversing the intersection on a daily basis. This traffic will only continue to grow as Pasco County sees increased development as one of the fastest growing counties in the country, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Additionally, State Route 54 serves as one of only two existing east-west evacuation routes that carry the county’s over 218,000 coastal evacuation area residents to I-75 in the event of an emergency.
Unfortunately, these commuters have been exposed to intermittent and unpredictable CSX crossing arm malfunctions, which have resulted in severe delays and safety concerns for Pasco drivers and residents. These arms have inadvertently closed off access to the intersection on at least eighteen occasions in the past year, causing massive delays with hours long commutes. More importantly, if these crossing arms were to malfunction during a severe weather threat, tens-of-thousands of Pasco residents could be trapped on the roads during an emergency evacuation.
I urge you to review and remedy this reoccurring situation as quickly as possible. The safety of our residents is of the upmost concern. Thank you for your consideration and review of this request.