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Hoisington crossing to finally be repaired
Work will force detour for a week
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The K & O Railroad crossing at Main St. in Hoisington will soon be repaired, smoothing out the teeth-jarring crossing that visitors to the city have endured for far too long. - photo by VERONICA COONS, Great Bend Tribune

 It’s been a long time coming, but the teeth-jarring railroad crossing on the south end of Hoisington is finally going to be repaired.

This was the message Hoisington City Manager Jonathan Mitchell had for the Barton County Commission Monday morning. It will be replaced during the week of Aug. 10-14.

This will require the creation of a detour, he said. The route takes travelers west on Keystone Road (NW 100 Road), north on Vine Street and east on Broadway Avenue into Hoisington.

This is where the county comes into the picture, said City of Hoisington Street Superintendent Paul Zecha. Vine Street includes a low-water crossing that needs some attention.

The commission approved allowing the Road and Bridge Department to help with these repairs. The City of Hoisington would pay for the work.

Mitchell said they received word recently from the Kansas Department of Transportation that the project is a go. The department is working with K&O Railroad, which owns the track and will handle the contracting and cost.

It will involve the total removal of the existing crossing. “It is a full-depth replacement,” Mitchell said.

The crossing will never be totally smooth, he said. It sits on a bend in the tracks so one rail will must be higher than the other to stabilize the heavy trains.

State transportation officials will handle the signage and will issue a bulletin warning haulers with over-sized loads to seek another route, Mitchell said. There is no way the large trucks could navigate the narrow streets of Hoisington.

“It’s long overdue,” Mitchell said. The crossing sees over 5,500 vehicles every day.

In other business Monday morning, the Barton County Commission:

• Approved a bid from Quality Glass of Great Bend to install a Manko 150 Series door and frame in the Barton County Health Department’s south wall at a cost of $3,457. This includes the door, the frame, a closer and keyless entry system. The only bid was submitted by Quality Glass, said Health Director Shelly Schneider. 

The old door had not been replaced since the county purchased the building and had become obsolete, Schneider said. It also leaked air and was not energy efficient.