Trains in Claremore causing public safety issues; overpass expected to be built
CLAREMORE, Okla. (KTUL) -- A train decoupled in Claremore on Thursday, sparking more conversations about the ongoing train issues.
Last October, 21-month-old Jules Blan accidentally fell in the pool.
"My six-year-old was with me and I screamed for him to get the phone and to call 911," Tasha Blan said.
Blan performed CPR on her son until first responders got there.
On the way to the hospital, "you could see there was just a long line of cars and we saw there was a train," Blan said.
About 40 trains go through Claremore every day.
"When you are sitting there you just kind of lose hope," Blan said.
Jules died at the hospital.
Blan blames herself for the accident, but she still asks, what if that train wasn't there.
"It may not have changed anything but I will never know," Blan said. "I need somebody to understand how hard that is and how much it hurts and just to sit there and just to feel hopeless because there is nothing you can do."
The city says they have an agreement with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to build an overpass.
"It is going to tie State Highway 20, the overpass and eventually it will tie into Interstate 44 so Claremore will have a third interchange," City Manager Jim Thomas said.
That will relieve some congestion from the trains and increase public safety.
"The truth of the matter is, it does delay public safety responses so that is one reason we constantly encourage the railroads to work with us and create corporate partners with the cities and towns along their routes to ensure they keep our citizens safe," Chief Stan Brown said.
The overpass will cost ODOT about $40 million.
Construction is expected to begin in 2021.