New Kent County leaders may have solution to safer railroad crossings

Local News

NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — New Kent County leaders may have found a solution to improving railroad crossing safety following a couple of deadly train crashes this year.

Rodney Hathaway, the county administrator, said applications opened Monday to eligible business owners who need assistance with improving their privately-owned train tracks.

The Economic Development Authority will give up to $10,000 as a grant and loan at 0 percent interest. The funds will help business owners purchase new signage and pavement markings.

The EDA’s Railway Crossing Assistance Grant and Loan Program requires the local business to have already operated for two years and own a railroad crossing in a high-traffic area. Applications for the program will remain open until Aug. 13.

Hathaway said supervisors continue working with CSX and state and federal leaders to get proper signals.

New Kent community members put their foot down following the recent deaths of a Mechanicsville man and a Lanexa woman just months apart. These train collision accidents occurred near the same track.

In a previous interview with 8News back in March, China Thompson and her sister spoke out about their mom, Freda Pruitt, who was one of the people killed.

“If there was just something there to prevent it, I’m pretty sure this has happened before,” Thompson said.

The outrage made its way to the Board of Supervisors and state leaders as residents called on them to do something.

District five County Supervisor, John Lockwood, previously told 8News they heard the community’s cries.

“There’s no reason for us to not take this bull by the horns and get it resolved,” he said.

Click for more information about the EDA’s Railway Crossing Assistance Grant and Loan Program.

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