Effort to keep Louise crossing open derailed

KINGMAN ­ Attempts to keep the Louise Avenue rail crossing open are officially off the tracks.

After seeking assistance from the Arizona Corporation Commission to keep the Louise crossing open and fulfill a campaign pledge, Mayor Les Byram said that the Commission has sided with the Burlington Northern Railroad in declaring it a dangerous intersection, hence upholding the city's agreement to close it within 30 days after the opening of the Airway Underpass.

"Their own Traffic Safety Committee agreed with the railroad that it's a dangerous crossing and they should be allowed to close it. So, that pretty well shuts me out," Byram said.

Byram added that Commissioner Kris Mayes did invite him to take her on a tour during her next stop in Kingman to show her where the city's traffic issues were, and that she would do what she could to help.

Mayes is currently running for re-election and would likely be in the area soon, he said.

"It looks like I've done everything I can to keep it open, but the Corporation Commission was our last hope," he said.

The latest projection has the underpass opening in late September or early October.