SAN ANTONIO - If you live near a train crossing, should you expect traffic delays? James Rodarte is on a mission to keep trains and vehicle traffic moving across the same tracks at the intersection of South Zarzamora and Frio City Road on the Southwest Side.
It's an ongoing debate about railroads and how they impact neighborhoods. However, Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Atkisson applauds Rodarte for his efforts. Rodarte set up the website TRAIN DELAYS, INC.
to keep neighbors informed and he has rallied support from city, county and state leaders.
Monday, the San Antonio Independent School board approved a resolution supporting his efforts to get a overpass or underpass constructed to prevent traffic delays.
"I feel like we need to fight this issue because it has been a problem for years," he said.
The civic leader insists trains sometimes sit on the tracks at the intersection for up to an hour while waiting for clearance.
Union Pacific spokesperson Raquel Espinoza said the railroad company is spending more than four million dollars to install automatic switches to help keep trains moving. Espinoza said the project should be done by February 2013.
The railroad company spokesperson said drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale has fueled increased traffic with trains carrying enough cargo to fill 300 big rigs.
Still a major bump in the road is funding. We're told it could cost 30 million to build an overpass.
"May not be easy but not impossible," said Rodarte.
He plans to keep fighting to make sure traffic and trains can pass over the tracks at the same time.
Rodarte said his next stop is a trip to San Antonio City Hall to talk to council members are funding for a bridge over a troubled intersection.