Downriver drivers frustrated with traffic delays from trains: ‘It ties up the whole city’

Downriver drivers have been blocked for hours by train traffic

Woodhaven residents woke up Tuesday morning to Van Horn Road being shut down for three days to deal with emergency train track repairs.

WOODHAVEN, Mich. – Downriver residents woke up Tuesday morning to Van Horn Road being shut down for three days to deal with emergency train track repairs.

“It ties up the whole city,” says Woodhaven Mayor Patricia Odette.

The city of Woodhaven has had its share of train track hardships.

The city built a new fire station so fire responders would no longer get stuck by a stopped train. In recent years ambulances would send two trucks that would take two different routes, in case one of them would be tied up at the tracks.

Drivers in the Downriver communities are no strangers to being blocked for hours by train traffic. Odette says that rail companies can shut down roads whenever they want.

Many businesses are affected by trains shutting down roads when they want with no warnings.

Woodhaven Animal Hospital was impacted Tuesday and had to tell those with pets to find another route.

“I have had a lady carry her dog and cross the tracks while leaving her car because she was afraid that her dog might die if she didn’t get them to the hospital,” said Dr. Lucretia Greear of Woodhaven Animal Hospital.

A store plaza owner, Charlie Pfeffer, says that the train traffic is potentially keeping customers or businesses from doing business.

A spokesperson from CN tells Local 4 that the emergency track repairs were unplanned and need maintenance done as soon as possible. The company states they advised the city as soon as they found out about the repairs that needed to be done.

In 2020, a project was announced to eliminate traffic delays at rail crossings throughout Woodhaven. This project was expected to cost up to $39 million.


About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital Producer and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.