By Josh Bootsma
LANSING, Ill. (October 28, 2021) – The railroad crossing at Burnham Avenue near Erfert Park is being replaced in the coming weeks, a project that will fix what has been the source of many bumpy crossings — and resident complaints — in recent years.
The project will result in the closure of Burnham Avenue from from 186th Street south to Glenwood Lansing Road starting on November 8 through November 24. A Village press release said, “Local traffic, however, on both the north and south sides of the railroad crossing will still be allowed up to the crossing.” The press release also suggested that drivers allow extra time to travel around the area, adding, “As always, be patient and slow down in any construction zones.”
Burnham Avenue is a state road, so the Illinois Department of Transportation will oversee signage and detour efforts.
Years of requests
The replacement project is the result, in part, of years of inquiries made by the Village of Lansing to CSX, the railroad company responsible for that railroad crossing.
According to Village Communications Director Ken Reynolds, Lansing’s current administration first got in contact with CSX in the summer of 2018. Reynolds said the Village was promised in September of 2018 that the project would be started. That promise was renewed the next year. After further conversations initiated by the Village with CSX — including a letter written by Lansing Fire Chief Chad Kooyenga about the danger the crossing poses to emergency vehicles — the project is now scheduled to start on November 8.
Reynolds estimates he has received about a dozen complaints about the crossing in the last three years. The Lansing Journal has received at least one complaint about the crossing as well.
“Really when you drive on the other tracks in town, there’s not another one anywhere that’s even anywhere close to this [one] as far as disruption,” Reynolds said.
The railroad crossing is located at Burnham Avenue, just north of the Erfert Park entrance and south of 187th Street.
- Workin’ on the railroad (June 2019 article and videos)