Artemus railroad crossing will stay open

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

KNOX COUNTY, Ky, (WYMT) - A Knox County railroad crossing scheduled to close will now remain open.
More than 100 people signed a petition to keep the School Street crossing open in Artemus.

In 2006, a train hit and killed Jeffery Campbell at the School Street railroad crossing.

"It's really hard. Jeffery wasn't there for my wedding or my other cousin's wedding or Christmas or birthdays. I just really felt the need to change something," said Kara Ball, Campbell's cousin.

Kara Ball led efforts to get safety improvements at the crossing.

At a community hearing in December, the Knox County Fiscal Court voted to close the crossing entirely.
However, now the Judge-Executive says it could cause other safety problems with the fire department.

"If they had a fire, they couldn't reach it without going ten miles around to get to it," said J. M. Hall, Knox County Judge-Executive.

144 people in Artemus signed a petition to keep the crossing open.

"We want to do what the residents want. With that being said, we did not have another hearing. We just took our petition that we had and all the phone calls we received. We voted to rescind that motion on the School Street crossing," said Hall.

"I was very upset and felt like a lot of my hard work didn't matter," said Ball.

Hall says the Transportation Department still plans to use $175,000 to install gates at the crossing.

"I keep reminding myself that it was okay and those gates were going to go up and I'm still saving somebody's life," said Ball.

There is no timeline yet on when the gates will be installed. Officials say it could take up to a year.

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