Residents are frustrated as trains continue to block roads in Hanahan

Berkeley County News

HANAHAN, S.C. (WCBD) – Hanahan residents are still frustrated over trains that continue to block area roadways for hours at a time.

One train was seen blocking Hanahan Road for hours Wednesday morning, and before that, Hanahan town administrator Mike Cochran told News 2 a train sat blocking roads for more than 20 hours straight recently.

The road the trains are blocking is a major thoroughfare for people driving to and from Rivers Avenue and Hanahan.

“We’ve got about 7,000 cars a day that cross the tracks right here, and in the last several months, we’ve had multiple instances where the tracks just get blocked by a parked train,” said Cochran.

Drivers are forced to add additional time to their commute; it also slows emergency responses.

“From the city’s perspective, if you’re trying to get an ambulance through the city, you’re crossing here in order to get over to the hospitals,” he explained.

Technically, blocking the road is illegal according to more-than-100-year-old state laws. But the fine is only $5 to $20, and it is difficult to enforce.

“We have contacted CSX and spoke with them on several occasions, and they’re aware of it, but it really is frustrating for our residents and frustrating for everybody involved,” said Cochran. “Last week, it sat there for over 30 hours.”

Cochran said he has a plan that may give residents a way to know when a train is stopped in the area. The county owns the library at the corner of Murray Drive and Highland Park Road. He’s asked about placing a camera there.

“I said is there a way that we could put a camera, or the county put a camera, on the library? If they were to put a camera on that library and point it toward the tracks, we would have a constant feed of exactly what the status of the tracks are.”

The video would also be streamed online.

“We’ll have that ability to push that information out, so while it’s not a perfect solution, it will at least allow an option because right now the only way you know if the tracks are blocked it’s the drive to them.”

News 2 reached out to CSX to see if they have any plans to change their policy of blocking trains for hours at a time. We are waiting to hear back.

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