The state Department of Transportation’s $9 million boondoggle on SR 124 at milepost 6 east of Burbank Heights adds insult to injury. It’s bad enough to pay state gas taxes at 44 cents per gallon, now the second-highest in the USA, but worse to see the money wasted in such an over-the-top (pun intended) manner.
The Union Pacific crossing on SR 124 is on a long straight stretch of road with excellent visibility in both directions, with very low train volume, less than 1 percent of the time. About 10 percent of that $9 million could have been spent to move the Monument drive intersection to the west and level out the grade on the east side of the tracks, which is the real problem and danger there. That would save $8 million for eight other million-dollar deserving projects in the area, of which there are plenty.
Having driven that road several thousand times over 40 years, the rail crossing with lights visible for over a mile in each direction is fine as is. It’s beyond logic or reason why the state is spending $9 million there, not even considering future maintenance costs on the overcrossing.
Michael Scrimsher, Burbank Heights