Robinson helps secure grant for railroad crossing repairs
By Rima Austin | July 26, 2018 6:10 am
White County Executive Denny Wayne Robinson announced Friday that funds have been secured to repair the railroad crossing on Highway 111 just before the last Sparta exit going southbound.
Robinson, who was elected chairman of the Tri-County Railroad Authority, in April 2018, quickly applied for a grant to finance the repairs.
“Our application to repair the Highway 111 railroad crossing, in Sparta, was the first to be received by TDOT out of the 18 shortline railroads statewide,” said Robinson. “TDOT told us that since ours was the first application received, we would be the first to receive funding.”
The repairs to the crossing will include the shoulders of the road, four traffic lanes, an acceleration lane, and the median. The total of the costs is estimated at $200,000. Design, bidding, and construction are estimated to last five months, with the completion date expected to be sometime in early 2019.
The grant did not come without stipulations, however. TDOT requires a 10 percent match to the grant, which will be paid by Caney Fork and Western Railroad.
“It is great to have partners like Caney Fork and Western who will step up and provide the matching funds,” said Robinson. “With their partnership, White County and the City of Sparta are able to have this crossing repaired for free.”
Robinson stated that State Senator Paul Bailey and State Representative Paul Sherrell were instrumental in having these funds appropriated by the Tennessee General Assembly in TDOT’s annual budget.
“We appreciate their assistance in this process and support of the shortline railroads, in Tennessee,” stated Robinson.
The track runs 59.1 miles, from Sparta to Tullahoma, and is the fourth longest shortline railroad in the state. The Caney Fork and Western Railroad links White County with CSX Transportation, in Tullahoma.
The Tri-County Railroad Authority is made up of 18 members, with two representatives each from White County, Warren County, Coffee County, City of Sparta, McMinnville, Manchester, Tullahoma, and towns of Doyle and Morrison.
The Tri-County Railroad Authority meets at 6 p.m., on the third Thursday, in the months of January, April, July, and October.