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From Nora O’Neil

By Staff | Oct 9, 2013

Several people attended the meeting Tuesday night at the courthouse concerning the bridge closing and railroad crossing. I haven’t been so frustrated or felt so isolated from the rest of New Martinsville since the bridge was closed in February. I get the feeling that city officials really don’t care if the bridge ever reopens. And CSX acts as if we are just an inconvenience to them. I think if any one of them lived in this area, the problems would have been fixed already, or at least acted like they care. When asked why it takes so long for them to open to traffic (my husband was stuck for 1.5 hours one day), they said they tried to open it as soon as possible, but because of safety regulations they couldn’t open them any faster. But if there was an emergency, they would open it within five minutes. Which makes me wonder if that is possible, why we have to wait so long?

When asked about opening the third crossing, at least on a temporary basis since many times when the two openings are blocked, this one is not, we were told they could look into it. But if they opened this one, they would close the other two. Like the federal government, are they trying to hold us hostage too? Either do what I want or I’m not helping you.

CSX also explained one reason they make us wait so long is because they now have more business, with the new plants in the valley, and they have more cars to work with. And they thought we would be happy about this since the economy is doing so much better here. Yes, I am glad there are more jobs for people around here, but making CSX richer is not helping us here, and some people living south of the bridge could be in jeopardy of losing their jobs because they can’t get across the tracks to go to theirs. I would just like everyone to know there are real people who live here and have real problems, just like the rest of the town. We have jobs to go to, children to get to schools, doctors appointments to attend, grocery stores to get food, etc, just like everyone else. And even though I leave early, it doesn’t help most of the time. I have sat in a line of 12-15 cars at a time. And I have seen a person get out of their car and climb over the train because they had been waiting so long. Does someone have to get hurt before something is done?

Nora O’Neil, New Martinsville