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The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) last week announced two grade crossings will be closed in New Iberia along a BNSF Railway Co. corridor and three other crossings will be closed in Tangipahoa Parish along the U.S. 51 rail corridor to improve safety.The crossings at Lee and Prairie streets in New Iberia, and at Babb Street and Capace and Rev. J. White roads in Tangipahoa Parish will be permanently closed by the end of this week, DOTD officials said in a press release.The DOTD continually reviews crossings across the state to identify closure candidates to increase safety. Department managers held numerous meetings with state and local officials, and conducted public workshops to obtain feedback prior to making the final decision on closings, DOTD officials said.The five crossings slated for closure are close to other crossings with active warning devices, they said. Based on Federal Railroad Administration data, a motorist is 20 times more likely to die in an accident involving a train than in a collision involving another motor vehicle.Meanwhile, the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) plans to hold a public meeting tomorrow in Mayflower to review alternative alignments for a proposed railroad overpass on Highway 89.The overpass would be built over a Union Pacific Railroad line. The work could result in a realignment of Highway 89 near the overpass, AHTD officials said in a press release.On June 4, the department held a public meeting in Donaldson to review a proposed design for the replacement of a UP overpass on Highway 67. In addition, AHTD proposes to replace a UP/Highway 365 bridge in North Little Rock and a UP/Highway 70 bridge in Little Rock.
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