Snow and Ice Cause Railroad Crossing Malfunctions

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The melting snow and ice that's covered our state for months has been causing some railroad crossings to malfunction, throwing down those arms unnecessarily.

"If there's a crack or a break or a way for water to get into those wires then there is a potential when it freezes up to shorten those circuits. That can cause the gates and lights to come down even though there isn't a train coming," said Lincoln City Engineer Roger Figard.

It's a problem engineers see occasionally this time of year and they encourage people sitting at these crossings to contact the railroads emergency number listed on the crossing and not take any chances crossing over the tracks.

"We're all impatient, if you don't see a train coming their could be the temptation to drive around those gates and lights, we don't want anyone getting hurt," said Figard.

Officials say even though it may look clear, danger could be barreling down the tracks and the outcome of trying to save time on the road could be deadly.

"It's catastrophic, a train traveling at 50 to 60 miles per hour can take a mile or two miles to stop so they're not going to stop. Their isn't any way that a car, SUV or truck is going to win a battle with a train," said Figard.