Custer County Board of Supervisors Discuss Dangerous Railroad in Anselmo

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The Custer County Board of Supervisors met Tuesday morning to discuss a dangerous railroad crossing in Anselmo.

The sharp angle of the crossing at Highway 2 and Road 429 makes it hard for drivers to spot on-coming trains. And semi's waiting to cross the tracks, don't have enough room to completely pull off the highway. But the board thinks the price to make it safer is way too high.

Don Olson, the District 5 Supervisor, where Anselmo is said, "The state brought us a proposal to fix a crossing going into Anderson Elevator by Anselmo and we feel like it was really, way over inflated."

"This is something that's been quite an issue since the grain load out has gone in and we're trying to work with the state and the railroad to provide a safer crossing and still keep it open for the people of Anselmo so they can have emergency access to either side of the town since the railroad really bisects the town and cuts it in two," said Mark Haynes, the District 4 Supervisor.

And emergency access is crucial. Even though there are two other crossings, it's important a third is available. Just this weekend, a house caught fire and even though the fire department lost 15 minutes waiting for trains from both directions to cross, Don Cantrell, who presented the numbers to the board, says it's the best option.

"It's so important this crossing remains open so we've got a third crossing to get across. Otherwise, it's over a ten-mile trip to get to another crossing," said Don Cantrell, the treasurer of Custer County Corn Growers.

The plans to make the crossing safer would move Highway 2 30 feet away from the tracks. When the board and state come to a price agreement construction will start and they both say they hope to make the railroad safer by harvest this fall.