Crews installing safety gates at Dickson Street railroad crossing

Crews work Tuesday to install safety gates at the Dickson Street railroad crossing in Fayetteville.

Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

A portion of Frisco Trail is closed this week while workers complete safety improvements at the Dickson Street railroad crossing in Fayetteville.

The project includes new crossing panels, rails, signals, and safety gates that will lower when a train passes through.

Crews recently rerouted a section of Frisco Trail to veer away from the work area on Dickson Street. Trail users are asked to follow detour signs which lead to West Avenue.

Work hours will be from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Friday, according to a news release.

Talk of safety improvements at the Dickson Street crossing first began in 2013 when the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad proposed a cost-sharing agreement with the city in response to a request from Mayor Lioneld Jordan for four easements needed to build new sections of the city’s trail system.

Aldermen approved the proposal about a year later when they agreed to contribute up to $250,000 for the estimated $561,000 project.

The Federal Railroad Administration rates Dickson Street as the most likely crossing in Fayetteville to include a collision between a train and a vehicle. Federal data shows an average of four trains pass through the crossing daily, and 12,800 vehicles cross the tracks each day, making it the busiest railroad crossing in the city.

Three train-vehicle collisions have occurred at the Dickson Street crossing since 1999. The most recent accident happened in September 2012 when a Nissan Xterra, driven by a 29-year-old-woman, was broadsided by a train. The woman told police she did not hear the train as it approached the crossing. Her vehicle was dragged about 30 feet north of Dickson Street and destroyed several sections of guard fencing before the train came to a stop.

Fayetteville Train-Vehicle Collision Probability

CrossingDaily TrafficWarning DeviceChance of Collision
Dickson Street12,800Flashing lights3.97%
Poplar Street4,450Flashing lights3.70%
University Avenue450Crossbucks3.66%
Sycamore Street8,600Flashing lights1.87%
North Street10,600Flashing lights1.43%
Gregg Avenue (Wilson Park)1,805Stop signs1.42%
15th Street5,400Flashing lights1.15%
Beechwood Avenue1,150Crossbucks0.88%
Sunrise Mountain Road1,050Stop signs0.80%
Hill Avenue1,250Wigwags, Bells0.68%
Razorback Road410None0.06%
Drake Street1,900Gates0.06%
Gregg Avenue (Ridout)111Crossbucks0.06%
Quality Lane1,111Gates0.05%
Cato Springs Road1,050Gates0.04%
Van Asche Drive580Gates0.02%
Quality Lane240Gates0.01%
Township Street163Gates0.01%

Source: Staff report / Federal Railroad Administration