HURON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Residents of Huron Township have been plagued by train traffic blocking intersections and the local government was forced to create a work-around to ensure public safety.
Tom Nichols owns a utility line installation company and several times each day he sees a line of rail cars from out of his front door.
"Sometimes it could be 45 minutes to an hour," Nichols said. "We see people honking and yelling at it, screaming at it to move."
The problem stems from a distribution company loading and unloading rail cars being hauled for automotive manufacturers, and because railways are federally regulated, local and state governments have absolutely no control. Federal law allows trains to block roads for eight hours.
Six cameras were installed so the Huron Township dispatch center knows if trains are blocking roads, giving ambulances and firetrucks a chance to reach their location, and not get stopped at a level crossing.
The cameras were installed about eight months ago and went live to the public Wednesday, so the public can watch the intersections and know when they are blocked.