City to discuss rail crossings at public hearing Tuesday

Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich is asking the City Council to begin a process to consolidate seven of Biloxi’s 29 rail crossings and for CSX and the Mississippi Department of Transportation to help the city improve safety at existing crossings.

The council is being asked to vote on the resolution during a public hearing on Tuesday, immediately after the 1:30 p.m. regularly scheduled council meeting. The meetings will be at City Hall and are open to the public.

The seven crossings nominated for closure are Nixon Street, Holley Street, Iroquois Street, Keller Avenue, Dorries Street, Querens Avenue and Delauney Street.  Under the proposal, CSX and MDOT would help the city construct new streets parallel to the railway, where needed, to avoid having dead-end streets where crossings are closed.

Gilich had asked in February for a public hearing on the rail-crossing issue, and since that time four people were killed and dozens injured when a charter bus was struck by a CSX freight train at the Main Street crossing. In the aftermath of that March 7 tragedy, the city has installed additional signage at Main Street and other crossings that have low ground clearance, where long-axle vehicles such buses and 18-wheel trucks could become stuck on the tracks because of the grade of the road and height of the rail.

The city is also asking CSX to consider that the city is also seeking new four-lane, boulevard-style crossings to connect Popp’s Ferry Road to U.S. 90 in west Biloxi and to connect an extended Pine Street to Back Bay Boulevard.
See all crossings and proposed consolidations
See the City Council resolution for Tuesday
The methodology: How the crossings were chosen
See the 13-page analysis from 2014, with updates