MOORE, Okla. (KFOR) – The City of Moore said SW 34th Street, closed due to a train derailment on August 18, is expected to reopen late Monday if everything goes as planned.
The closed road has caused clogged streets on both sides of the tracks since the derailment of 22 BNSF train cars. The area is already heavily traveled with more than 8,500 cars a day coming through SW 34th between South Telephone Road and South Eastern Avenue.
For drivers like Branden Burk, the road cannot open soon enough.
“It’s horrible because it used to just be a five, maybe 10-minute drive to the post office,” said Burk. “Now it’s upwards of 30 or 35 minutes or more. I’m not even exaggerating.”
McIntyre Law Chopper 4 flew over the site Wednesday to get an updated look at the damage. Workers were removing damaged pavement next to the tracks. Moore’s Assistant City Manager, Jerry Ihler, said crews will start paving the west side of the road Thursday.
“Then on Friday, we’ll finish up on the east side,” said Ihler.
He said the road was expected to open Monday afternoon after the new concrete can sit over the weekend, if everything goes as planned.
News 4 was there while crews loaded one of the overturned rail cars onto a semi and hauled it away. There are only a handful of the train cars left but it could take days, if not weeks, to remove what’s left.
“They’ll be able to do that work after we’re complete with our roadway, because it’s far enough from where we’re doing the improvements for the roadway,” said Ihler.
KFOR confirmed the Federal Railroad Administration has been investigating the derailment but would not comment until the investigation was complete. The rail company, BNSF, is also on site conducting its own investigation. News 4 reached out to BNSF after witnesses told our news team that the company was working on the tracks in the days before the derailment. Our emails were not returned.
Ihler said problems at the railroad crossing have never popped up before.
“There have been no prior issues that I’m aware of, and I have not received any information at all as to what they believe to be the cause,” said Ihler. “There’s been a lot of discussion, but, nothing final.” The city of Moore has asked drivers in the area to be patient while the work is completed.