NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY) — The people of one New Iberia neighborhood are searching for answers after learning that a railroad crossing leading into their neighborhood could be closing.

We’re getting answers in tonight’s Dial Dalfred Report.

The Caroline Street crossing has been on the radar for closure by the Department of Transportation and Development and the BNSF.

The people of New Iberia have fought it every step of the way.

“The people spoke and said they did not want it closed. We just can’t understand why the state department of transportation continues to try and close this crossing to spend money on closing it rather than spending the funds elsewhere where their more needed.”

District Four Councilwoman, Deidra Ledbetter told us a major concern is the direct access to the cities hospitals for the people along Caroline Street.

“Down the street going this way of course there’s the rehab center, the new rehab center and also a nursing home. Those people on a regular basis have to go to the hospital or two other medical facilities that are on the opposite the side of the track.”

In January, 2022 DOTD sent certified mail to New Iberia Mayor Freddie Decourt stating that the Caroline Street crossing had been approved for closure.

Three days later, Mayor Decourt responded by saying their position has not changed over the years, and should DOTD and BNSF close any crossing in the city, they’d be doing so without the support of the the mayor or the council

DOTD spokesperson Deidra Druilhet says several factors went into the study of crossing closures in New Iberia.

“The national recommendation is that you don’t want to have more than five railroad crossings within a mile of each other. In New Iberia you have 21 railroad crossings within 3 miles.”

In addition to there not being any crossing arms at the Caroline Street crossing, the study finds the natural curve in the road south of the tracks is not ideal.

Druilhet says with this crossing on the chopping block, there are other options in close proximity.

So basically, motorist would just need to travel a block in one direction to access that particular route

As of now, there’s no date set on when the closure will take place— it’s worth mentioning, the Providence Street crossing right behind the parish courthouse is also slated for closure.

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