Hoefgen/Essex Closure Status

Planning Commission

Earlier this year (2/25/2015) we attended a Planning Commission session to discuss the closing of the Hoefgen/Essex street due to the railroad crossing. In that meeting we learned that even the Union Pacific Railroad was in favor of the closure since it is rated as the most dangerous crossing in Texas due to the number of collisions and near misses on record.

City Council

The recommendation was then turned over to the City Council for a vote on May 21, 2015 (View Meeting Minutes). By looking at page 22 Vote Slips a unanimous decision was recorded. Visiting the file detail 15-1798, attachment #4 contains Ordinance 2015-05-21-0438.

The closure at Hoefgen and Essex is official!

This is important because part of getting the QZ approved requires each crossing to fall below a certain risk level. The level is lowered by adding gates or alternate safety measures. The crossing at Hoefgen/Essex would be terribly expensive to implement, as in regrading of the crossing, rerouting runoff water, etc…(millions of dollars) mainly because the road crosses two sets of tracks at an angle instead of perpendicular.

Closing the crossing costs the city ZERO dollars but does cause issues for some neighbors who now have to find new routes to get to their homes or highways. We’d like to thank them for their understanding and agreeing to make changes to improve our neighborhood.

Now what?

We’re not sure of the status of the Quiet Zone. We need to figure out who can tell us that and send out an update when we know. Hopefully, they have the data to support our QZ so they can now implement safety measures and start the approval process.