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CSX resolves to address issues at both Wentworth and 186th Street railroad crossings

Resident concerns sparked conversations among village, state, and railroad officials

LANSING, Ill. (July 13, 2023) – In early June, two railroad crossings in Lansing were closed for construction — one near Wentworth Avenue and Manor Drive, and the other near 186th Street and Ridgewood Avenue.

In the weeks since the completion of the construction, many Lansing residents have expressed dissatisfaction with the new crossings, with some claiming that they are worse than they were before.


As residents drove over the new Wentworth crossing, which was once a smooth, gradual hill, many noticed a steeper angle, which forced them to slow down to cross. Those that didn’t slow down bounced and jostled their way across. At the 186th crossing, which was in a poor state before the construction, some residents have said it feels like there’s little improvement when driving over the tracks.

In a Lansing-related Facebook group, John Domansky said, “I just got the shock of my life. Crossing the newly repaired RR tracks on Wentworth Ave. The new repair just made them 5 [times] as worse as they had been at their worst. … I just bottomed out & bumped my head on inside auto roof.”

Many other comments to the same effect have made the rounds on Facebook in recent weeks.

The newly constructed railroad crossing at Wentworth Avenue and S Manor Drive has been the cause of many resident complaints in recent weeks. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Additionally, a Lansing Police had received calls about the crossings, and on June 28 Officer Michael Lindemulder filed the following report:

I was notified that the repairs at the railroad crossing at 186th St and Ridgewood Ave and 18800 Wentworth Ave that have created unsafe driving and pedestrian travel. I went to these locations and upon my initial assessment, I along with other vehicles had to slow down considerably to cross each railroad crossing safely.
The crossing at 186th St and Ridgewood Ave had debris(rocks/asphalt) in the center lanes of the road and also on the side walks. There is also an area where the asphalt drops off where the sidewalk meets it and could be hazardous to walking or bicycling pedestrians. …
The railroad crossing at Manor Dr. and Wentworth Ave has debris(rocks/asphalt) left on the side of the roadway and between the two lanes of traffic on Wentworth Ave. There are piles of asphalt along with railroad construction material laying to the side of the road. It appears that the asphalt that crosses the railroad track was raised, causing the approach angle and departure angle to increase. This has made the railroad crossing somewhat hazardous for certain vehicles.

The asphalt drop-off near the sidewalk of the 186th Street crossing is steep. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Concerns heard

These resident concerns caught the attention of the Village of Lansing.

Village Director of Communications Donna Stuckert said someone came into the Municipal Center and asked for information regarding filing an insurance claim related to damage done by traveling over one of the new railroad crossings.

The Village of Lansing does not control the railroad crossings in town or the construction work that takes place to improve them. Each crossing — as well as the railroad itself — is under the control of CSX.

“The Mayor had asked me to keep track of [the complaints],” Stuckert said. “I collected the information and Mayor Eidam and Village Administrator Podgorski requested a meeting with CSX officials to review the changes that were made and make them aware of problems that the community was experiencing at those crossings.”

The Village was successful in its communicating its concerns to CSX, resulting in a field visit to examine the crossings.

Field visit issues, and resolutions

In a message to Eidam, Podgorski, and CSX Roadmaster Juan Vega, ICC Rail Safety Specialist IV Adrian Dominguez said a field visit identified the issues listed below, and provided the following resolutions:

186th Street (DOT# 283191T)

  • Issue #1: Sudden drop-off of asphalt adjacent to the traveled roadway and side walk.
    • Resolution: CSX will add compactable base aggregate to the SW, SE, and NE quadrants to create a shoulder.
  • Issue #2: Lack of Pavement markings.
    • Resolution: CSX will hire a contractor to restore lane lines across the tracks for both lanes and the sidewalk.
  • Issue #3: Construction debris at the crossing and on the roadway.
    • Resolution: CSX plans to have a crew returning in a week to remove all debris leftover from the crossing renewal work.

Wentworth Ave (DOT# 283194N)

  • Issue #1: Track #2 is elevated approximately 1.5” higher than Track #1 causing vehicles to drastically slow their speed in order to traverse the crossing safely.
    • Resolution: CSX will coordinate a pull and surface with the City of Lansing’s assistance with a closure and asphalt replacement. Effort to be coordinated with a target completion date of Mid-August.
Field notes from experts indicated that the train tracks on the right were 1.5 inches higher than the ones on the left, causing drivers to drastically slow their speed to cross them safely. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
  • Issue #2: In the south bound lane, on the south side of the track, the approach is slopped too aggressively.
    • Resolution: CSX will overlay asphalt to ease the approach slope.
  • Issue #3: Construction debris at the crossing and on the roadway.
    • Resolution: CSX plans to have a crew returning in a week to remove all debris left over from the crossing renewal work.

Looking forward

On Tuesday, July 11, the Wentworth crossing was closed for multiple hours as crews addressed issues with the crossing. Additionally, since the field visit was performed and resolutions agreed upon, the crossings appear to be free from most of the debris left behind, though some still remains at the 186th Street crossing.

The debris shown above is some of what still remains at the 186th Street railroad crossing as of this writing. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Stuckert said this situation has proved a valuable one for understanding the importance of residents sharing their voices on issues in the Village of Lansing.

“As you can see from this example … it helps when people tell us about their experiences. I know sometimes we can only monitor social media. But we do listen and take everything into consideration. Community members should never take for granted that others around them have voiced their concerns. They should send us an email; message us on Facebook; call us; come into the Village Hall and let us know there is a problem. If no one tells us, we don’t know,” she said.

The Village’s contact form is available online. Its main phone number is 708-895-7200. The Village of Lansing Municipal Center is located at 3141 Ridge Road in Lansing.

Residents looking to voice railroad-related concerns can do so online at

Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.


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