BENTON, Ill. (AP) – A mayor of a city in southern Illinois says he wants to solve the problem of trains that too often block traffic, including sometimes emergency vehicles.
Benton Mayor Fred Kondritz tells The Carbondale Southern Illinoisan that trains can obstruct traffic in the community of 7,000 residents for up to two hours. He’s lobbying lawmakers for help in building an overpass that would ensure one part of the community can’t be cut off.
Kondritz says a friend of his who suffered a heart attack died in an ambulance waiting to get across blocked tracks to a hospital. And he says there have been instances where firetrucks couldn’t reach burning structures immediately because of trains.
Overpasses can cost millions. But the Benton mayor says the project could end up saving lives.