Road conditions at the railroad crossing located on Maspeth Avenue and Rust Street, where a crash between a locomotive and tractor-trailer occurred earlier this month, were a main concern voiced during Thursday’s Maspeth Industrial Business Association (MIBA) meeting.
The at-grade crossing is reportedly suffering from cracked and deteriorating pavement, leaving the metal railroad tracks exposed and creating large potholes. When drivers travel over the railroad tracks, whether in personal cars or industrial trucks, they are vulnerable to hitting these potholes and damaging their vehicles.
“Just beyond the collision, I know that businesses have been complaining about the crossing because it needs to be repaved, and it’s been doing a lot of damage to their vehicles and so we’ve been trying to put some pressure on New York and Atlantic [Railway] to make the repairs,” said Jean Tanler, coordinator of the MIBA. “It’s been a long process, so hopefully now that there’s been more eyes on this area maybe we can have a little bit more leverage in having them address it.”
Michael Cristina, owner of Boro-wide Recycling Corp., located at 3 Railroad Pl. in Maspeth, wants improvements at the railroad crossing because the current conditions are damaging his fleet of trucks that travel over the train tracks several times a day.
“My maintenance in the last year has gone up tremendously on my trucks,” Cristina said. “There’s tie rods that go in the front end of the truck, springs are breaking, shocks are snapping off, and there are kingpins…what happens over time, it wears the metal away eventually and then the whole tire wobbles.”
In addition to causing damage to vehicles, Cristina believes that the conditions at the crossing are a safety concern as well.
“This is a safety issue,” he said. “Anybody’s wheel could fall off, or something could break on a car because of the abuse the tracks are doing to the cars. And if it breaks right on the tracks, what can you do? You’re kind of limited on what you can do. If it was maintained, you would have less of a safety issue there.”