DUNKIRK - U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, D-South Buffalo, is asking the Federal Railroad Administration to step in and investigate repeated problems at the Van Buren Road railroad crossing in Dunkirk.
"Malfunctions with the mechanical equipment intended to make the crossing safer are actually leading to dangerous uncertainty for those who cross these tracks," Higgins said. "We're taking the data to the Federal Railroad Administration and asking for a thorough review and resolution to protect those who live and travel in the area."
Along with his letter to the FRA calling for an inspection of the site, Higgins is forwarding video confirmation of the malfunctions recorded by local resident, Robin Putnam-Cordovano, whose son Zachary was one of three people who died in an accident at the crossing on Oct. 10, 2009.
"I have been monitoring the crossing malfunctions since my son's tragedy," said Robin Putnam-Cordovano. "I have contacted the CSX authorities on numerous occasions to report the malfunctions with no success in improvements being implemented. My goal is to have CSX correct the problems so no other family has to suffer the loss of a loved one. Many thanks to Congressman Higgins and his staff for their support and efforts on this situation."
In his letter, Higgins wrote that area residents don't have confidence that the rail crossing is working or not, and it has become a dangerous custom for motorists to bypass the crossing gates altogether by driving around them.