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

Crossing Daily Traffic Warning Device Chance of Collision
Dickson Street 12,800 Flashing lights 3.97%
Poplar Street 4,450 Flashing lights 3.70%
University Avenue 450 Crossbucks 3.66%
Sycamore Street 8,600 Flashing lights 1.87%
North Street 10,600 Flashing lights 1.43%
Gregg Avenue (Wilson Park) 1,805 Stop signs 1.42%
15th Street 5,400 Flashing lights 1.15%
Beechwood Avenue 1,150 Crossbucks 0.88%
Sunrise Mountain Road 1,050 Stop signs 0.80%
Hill Avenue 1,250 Wigwags, Bells 0.68%
Razorback Road 410 None 0.06%
Drake Street 1,900 Gates 0.06%
Gregg Avenue (Ridout) 111 Crossbucks 0.06%
Quality Lane 1,111 Gates 0.05%
Cato Springs Road 1,050 Gates 0.04%
Van Asche Drive 580 Gates 0.02%
Quality Lane 240 Gates 0.01%
Township Street 163 Gates 0.01%

Source: Staff report / Federal Railroad Administration