Recently completed railroad crossing project causing issues in Pittston Township

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PITTSTON TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A recently completed railroad crossing project is leading to a call for action. Drivers to community leaders say it’s a major safety issue.

Eyewitness News witnessed a potentially dangerous problem. Cars are becoming airborne over the railroad tracks on Oak Street in Pittston Township, even those obeying the posted 35-mile-per-hour speed limit.

“I mean God forbid, if he wasn’t buckled properly, he would have come right out of the car seat. That’s a serious, serious safety concern,” Jessica O’Donnell of Pittston said of her son.

O’Donnell says she had a scary experience driving across the railroad tracks on Oak Street in Pittston Township with her almost two-year-old son, Alfred, in the car.

“As soon as I went down, not realizing how bad the rivets were, we hit the bumps and my son like almost bounced out of his car seat. Like if he wasn’t buckled in properly, he would have bounced right out,” O’Donnell said.

The bumpy ride comes after the Reading Northern Railroad Company completed a pavement project around the tracks last week. But as you can see, something is off. Some cars are catching air while others are scraping bottom.

Oak Street is a major route from nearby Interstate 81 into Pittston. But the railroad crossing issue is causing major frustration as some drivers slow down, and others aren’t willing to wait.

“I thought it was just me at first and then I’m like ‘okay, maybe, you know, I’m doing the speed limit, maybe it’s me’. I went over it again, it was the same thing. You have to do like 10 miles an hour to not bottom out on the road,” O’Donnell said.

It’s caught the attention of Pittston Township Supervisor Joseph Hawk, who’s also the township director of emergency services. He’s calling on PennDOT and the railroad company to do something.

“We are trying to work with the state to get some signs there to have everybody slow down below the actual speed limit of 35. Just take it slow, try to actually do less than 35, just because the condition of the road is quite dangerous,” Hawk said.

Meanwhile, O’Donnell says it’s not a route she wants to travel with Alfred again until something gets done.

“Please fix it, for the safety of our children and other adults as well, it needs to be fixed. The rivets are way too deep, it’s unnecessary and it’s so unsafe,” O’Donnell said.

Eyewitness News reached out to the railroad company for a statement, but we have not yet heard back.

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