TAMPA, Fla. - Traffic was still backed up around several Tampa railroad crossings this morning, but CSX says it is opening some work sites earlier than anticipated.
Yesterday, traffic ground to a halt in downtown and South Tampa after CSX closed a number of crossings for maintenance work. But city officials said CSX failed to file for permits, then did not stick to their pre-announced schedule and even closed some roads where no work was underway.
The closures made it nearly impossible to get west or east across the Tampa peninsula. Drivers reported commutes that normally take a few minutes were taking much longer -- over an hour in some cases.
CSX apologized for the closures and said they had coordinated with the state, but not the city.
The issue was brought up at today's Tampa City Council meeting. In the end, they filed a motion asking the city to create a communications department dedicated to public works so something like this doesn't happen again.
The Tampa Water Department also postponed a planned closure along Swann Avenue "due to increased construction and maintenance work by other parties in the area."
Meanwhile, the city said this afternoon that some of the crossings were opening ahead of schedule.
The following streets are open as of 4 p.m.:
- W Euclid Avenue between S Gunlock Avenue and S Lynwood Avenue
- W El Prado Boulevard between S Concordia Avenue and W Drexel Avenue
- W Bay to Bay Blvd between S MacDill Avenue and S Ysabella Avenue
- N 20th Street between E 7th Avenue and E 5th Avenue
- W Iowa Avenue S Manhattan Avenue and S Coolidge Avenue
- W Oklahoma Avenue between S Manhattan Avenue and S Lois Avenue
- W Prescott Street between S West Shore Boulevard and Fitzgerald Street
- W McCoy Street between S West Shore Boulevard and S Trask Street
The following streets are expected to reopen by midnight tonight.
- W Swann Avenue between S Fremont Avenue and W Packwood Avenue
- W Cleveland Street from S Willow Avenue to S Dakota Avenue
- W Platt Street from S Dakota Avenue to S Willow Avenue
- N 18th Street between E 7th Avenue and E 5th Avenue
- N Nebraska Avenue between E Cass Street and E Twiggs
- N 19th Street between E 7th Avenue and E 5th Avenue
- N 26th Street between E 7th Avenue and E 5th Avenue
The following streets are expected to reopen by 4:00 PM on Friday, February 28.
- W Pearl Avenue between S Lois Avenue and S Clark Avenue
- W Mississippi Avenue between S Georgia Avenue and S Carolina Avenue
- W Watrous Avenue between S Moody Avenue and S Howard Avenue
- W Morrison Avenue between S Howard Avenue and S Albany Avenue