Snagged trailer closes Iberville crossing for two hours

The railway crossing at Iberville Drive, just west of Keesler Air Force Base, was closed for two hours this morning after CSX made repairs to the crossing after a truck pulling a lowboy trailer became stuck on the rails.

The incident was reported to Biloxi public safety dispatchers at 7:19 a.m., and dispatchers immediately notified CSX of the issue at the crossing, where 6,800 vehicles cross on an average day, according to Gulf Regional Planning Commission traffic counts.

The Iberville Drive crossing has “Low clearance” signs and drawings posted at northbound and southbound approaches to the crossing.

 “This is an issue that could have occurred at most of the 29 crossings in Biloxi,” Biloxi Chief Administrative Officer Mike Leonard said. “It was a matter of a truck pulling an extra-long, low-clearance trailer that became lodged on the rails. We have signs warning drivers of this danger. Our 911 dispatchers, having been notified of the issue this morning, followed protocol and took immediate action.”

Leonard also noted that rail-crossing safety has been an issue in Biloxi for decades, but has gotten more attention since the deadly train-charter bus collision at the Main Street crossing on March 7. Four people were killed when a CSX freight train hit a charter bus stuck on the tracks at the Main Street crossing.

 “When the City Council gave the approval in March to begin the process of closing six rail crossings, we said at the time that it would be at least a year before residents and motorists actually saw any changes at crossings,” Leonard said this morning. “Since that time, we have hired an engineering firm to begin to design the roadways that will connect the closed crossings with adjacent crossings.

 “The Mississippi Department of Transportation, which has a major hand in overseeing rail crossings, has agreed to send us more and improved signage, which we’ll install just as soon as it arrives.

“The city also has engaged attorneys who specialize in rail crossing safety to help us consider our options.”

Added Leonard: “This is a huge issue, bigger than Biloxi, because it involves multiple jurisdictions and an industry that is regulated by the state and federal governments. We’re continuing to do what we can with the limited authority and resources we have.”
See photos of the lodged truck and repairs at the Iberville crossing
Read more about Biloxi rail crossings


News and notes

Summer Movie Series:  The Parks & Recreation Department held its third installment of the Summer Movie Series on Friday with the showing of the 2016 treatment of “Ghostbusters.”  To see images from the Town Green gathering, click here.

City Council meeting:  The Biloxi City Council will meet Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. at the Biloxi City Hall. Among the items on the agenda is a chance for the public to comment on the downtown restoration plan. To see the agenda and supporting documents, click here