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Ignico Protester: 'Just Get the Gate In' Now | News

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Ignico Protester: 'Just Get the Gate In' Now

Railroad crossing arms could come to the Ignico Drive and Highway 247 intersection in Houston County as soon as November -- or as late as next April, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

But Pamela Patten, who has campaigned for crossing arms since a train killed a woman and her newborn daughter May 27, urged GDOT and Norfolk Southern Railway to "quit wasting time on surveys and analysis and just get the gate in." 

Donnelle Reid, 31, and her seven-week-old daughter Kinsley were killed when a train hit their car. Kinsley's father Willie Lyons was injured and hospitalized.

The crossing has warning lights and sounds but no gates to stop traffic when a train approaches.

GDOT sent 13WMAZ a timetable for the project (see PDF) and says the agency and Norfolk Southern have to agree on the details before proceeding. The railroad would supply and install the gates using federal money funneled through the state. 

In a live interview near the scene of the crash on Eyewitness News at 6, Pamela Patten said action can't come too soon because "that beautiful, beautiful mother and that one-month-old baby were killed."

Railroad spokeswoman Susan Terpay said Wednesday that GDOT has to decide where the crossing arms go because it's a traffic issue.

Terpay said they don't know when this project could be finished because of many details including site measurements and getting parts for the installation.

"I can't make a best guess.  I know that we are going to expedite every part of the process as quickly as possible," said Terpay. 

Terpay said they are working on 30 warning device projects in Georgia alone.

Pamela Patten says "between now and November is a really long time and I just hope that no one I actually know gets killed here."


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