Railroad crossing for Franklin trail planned

Walkers and bikers using a new trail in Franklin will soon have a new place to cross the railroad tracks.

The city plans to spend $120,000 on a new pedestrian crossing on Commerce Drive, east of U.S. 31. The crossing will be separate from where vehicles cross the tracks and will include cross arms, lights and ramps.

The city needs the pedestrian crossing for a new trail that crosses the railroad tracks, Franklin city engineer Travis Underhill said. The new 3-mile trail will be constructed next year and will travel from the east side of the city to U.S. 31. near Franklin Community High School.

The new section of trail will connect Eastview Drive to U.S. 31 on Commerce Drive, Commerce Parkway and Arvin Drive. City officials want to eventually build a trail network that weaves throughout Franklin.

If the city did not have the pedestrian crossing installed, residents would have to cross the railroad tracks where vehicles drive, Underhill said.

Gates, lights, ramps and the crossing will be installed by the Louisville & Indiana Railroad Co., which owns the railroad and must install the railroad crossing, Underhill said. The company will already be in Franklin later this month to repair existing railroad crossings, so the city wanted to have it install the new crossing at the same time.

But the city will pay for the crossing. The cost will come from the city’s rainy day fund.