Updated: Tuesday, 27 Nov 2012, 11:42 PM EST
Published : Tuesday, 27 Nov 2012, 11:42 PM EST
WASHINGTON, IND. (WTHI) - An aging railroad bridge is building some frustration among officials in one southern Indiana county.
Daviess County wants to replace the old 15th Street Bridge on the east side of Washington with one that is newer and safer.
Local leaders feel that more drastic measures may need to be taken after a decade of talks with CSX Railroad have produced nothing.
The old wooden bridge on East 15th Street in Washington has seen plenty of traffic over the last 60 years and is getting even busier.
Local officials though say the bridge, that belongs to CSX railroad is no longer safe.
"I think so. It's a dangerous structure," said President of the Daviess County Commissioners Tony Wichman. "The load limits are crazy. I have actually backed up when I met traffic that I thought shouldn't be on that bridge."
The bridge has a 5 ton limit and in the past has even been struck by a train.
The county says it is ready to replace it.
They just need to railroad to get on board with their plans.
"(We) intermittently have corresponded with them and got no response for the last 10 years," said Wichman. "We are actively seeking to do something at this point and have made them an offer."
Both the city and the county have been talking with CSX since 1998 about doing something about the bridge and while officials say they would prefer to go with negotiations they are ready now to consider litigation.
"We in essence told our attorney, asked our attorney, to correspond with CSX again, which he has done 3 times in the past 6 months, and give them a final notice that we are going to go to litigation if we need to," said Wichman.
A move that may be a last ditch attempt to get the railroad on track with the county to finally replace the old bridge.
Authorities in Daviess County say a new bridge could handle ambulance traffic to the hospital a couple of blocks away cutting off time and distance for emergency crews and their patients.
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