DOT to upgrade Bedford railroad crossing

The railroad crossing on the Saw Mill River Parkway in Bedford, which had become the site of several accidents in recent years, will undergo a major transformation aimed at increasing safety.

The state has allocated more than $300,000 to make it safer for motorists to cross the railway at Green Lane off exit 38, where cars often get stuck because the tracks are higher than the road.

In January of 2008, authorities say a driver nearly escaped collision with a train after he made a wrong turn. In September of that year, another driver survived a collision with a locomotive after being lead astray by his GPS.

None of the accidents that happened last year were fatal, but they were enough to make the Department of Transportation take notice of the Bedford crossing.

Transportation officials had already added several new safety features at the crossing, including reflective paint on yellow lines and a 400-watt streetlight.

Not all local residents, however, believe that the Department of Transportation should go forward with the expensive upgrade at this time.

"It's been improved already several times," says Amy Ann Wittlinger, of Bedford. "I think that should be enough."

The latest round of improvements to the Bedford crossing will begin in July and be are expected to be completed by December.

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