IL--4 Malfunctioning Crossing Gates Snarl Traffic in Arlington Heights : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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4 malfunctioning crossing gates snarl traffic in Arlington Heights

BY JON DAVIS Daily Herald Staff Writer

Railroad crossing gates at four key downtown Arlington Heights intersections malfunctioned Friday afternoon, tying up traffic for blocks. Gates at Arlington Heights Road and Evergreen, Dunton and Vail avenues locked in the "down" position around 3:45 p.m.

Union Pacific Railroad work crews were on the scene by 4 p.m., but did not find immediate answers, said Arlington Heights police Sgt. Jerry Lehnert.

"They have no idea what the problem is; they have no idea when it'll be solved," Lehnert said.

Police diverted traffic off Arlington Heights Road until 4:35 p.m., when they were able to prop up the gates at that crossing.

Traffic on northbound Arlington Heights Road backed up to Park Street as drivers waited to detour at Sigwalt Street west to Ridge Avenue or east along Davis Street to Arthur Avenue and Northwest Highway.

Southbound traffic was diverted at Northwest Highway to either Ridge or Arthur Avenues.

John Bromley, Union Pacific's director of public affairs, declined to guess what the problem might have been. He said, however, the gates are designed to activate if they have electrical or mechanical failures.

"We'd rather have them go on accidentally than not go on when they're needed to," Bromley said.

Commuter trains were not affected by the gate malfunctions, a Metra spokeswoman said.


-- (, March 11, 2000

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