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April 14, 2013

Maple Avenue railroad closing has lengthy timeline

DUNCAN — The timeline leading to Maple Avenue railroad closing has a lengthy history, beginning with the city considering it publicly in  2009. Here’s a quick glance:

April 2009: City begins looking at railroad crossing safety.

July 3, 2010: Deion Jackson-Houston, 17, of Duncanville, Texas, attempts to cross Maple and was hit by oncoming train, and dies.

September 2010: Deion’s father, Stacy Houston, addresses city council about making city crossings safer for the public. Deion’s death alters Railroad Corridor project, draws more attention to the seriousness of the situation.

March 2011: Railroad Corridor project revised, with Union Pacific, Oklahoma Department of Transportation and City of Duncan officials now considering closing the Maple crossing permanently. Additionally, three other crossings would be improved for safety, Bois d’Arc, Spruce and West Plato. Total estimated cost at that time, $970,000, with about 90 percent of it funded through federal government grants, and UP covering 10 percent for the Maple Street closing, and city covering the remaining 10 percent needed for the improvement projects at the other three locations.

April 2011: Four crossings named in project, with M.L. King being the fourth crossing. Council approves closing Maple Avenue crossing. Improvements drafted at that time for the others: Crossing gates, flashing lights.

The crossing is expected to close in two weeks.

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