Crews repair road after train wreck

MOHAWK- Road repairs from a train derailment in June on Route 5 should be finished by the end of November, according to New York State Department of Transportation spokesman Jim Piccola.

Piccola said paving began Monday on sections of Route 5 in Mohawk.

Once the road is paved, Piccola said, more work would need to be done to set up girders, paint lines on the road and do other maintenance.

“The contract says they have until November,” Piccola said.

Piccola said the repairs have been progressing on schedule, but he said the weather has been an issue. Piccola said crews have been unable to pave in the mornings. They have had to wait until the weather gets warmer during the day before they can pave the road.

The road was reopened in September after nearly three months of cleanup and temporary road repairs from the June 27 derailment, when two CSX freight trains sideswiped each other just west of Fonda.

The train tracks run along Route 5. Some of the train cars landed on the road in the derailment. Some parts of the road were damaged during the cleanup.

An engineer and a conductor on one of the trains suffered minor injuries in the derailment, authorities said.

In June, CSX spokesman Robert Sullivan said one of the trains was traveling from Avon, Ind., to Selkirk with four locomotives and 126 freight cars. The other train was going from Selkirk to New Castle, Pa., with two locomotives and 83 freight cars.

Operator error caused the derailment, CSX said in a report submitted to the Federal Railroad Administration. The report says the accident occurred when the eastbound train went through a track-side red light as the westbound train was crossing from one track to another. The trains struck one another, throwing dozens of cars off the tracks.

According to Piccola, much of the damage to the road occurred during the cleanup. Portions of the road were torn up from machinery. He said the estimated repair cost is $1.1 million. CSX will contribute to the cost of the repairs.

Arthur Cleveland can be reached at [email protected].

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