Drivers insist Topeka railroad bridge is a hazard

TOPEKA (KSNT) — A Topeka railroad-bridge continues to be a serious concern for one driver who says falling concrete damaged his windshield earlier this week.

We first told you about this story Thursday and the railroad company says it’s not their fault.

They blame a problem with the curbing around that bridge, but that response left us with even more questions.

“The deterioration of the concrete, and the water’s still dripping and it rained, what 12, 14 hours ago last night,” said Jeffrey Nichols, observing the area under the bridge on Topeka Boulevard.

Those things make him think this bridge isn’t safe and the reason he came to KSNT News.

“Actually more nervous to stand here now, knowing there’s a bungee cord holding the bridge together,” said Nichols.

After a piece of concrete fell from the bridge and hit his windshield Wednesday, Nichols filed a report with the owner of the bridge BNSF Railroad.

Friday we learned he’s not the only one.

“It’s been a year or so ago, I came underneath the boulevard, or this bridge here, and there was a train passing overhead, and a chunk fell down and cracked my windshield,” recalls R.R. Anderson.

That’s why KSNT News followed up to find out what they’re doing about the problem and learned they already sent an inspector out.

That inspector says the bridge is fine. He believes a broken curb is the problem, and other cars are kicking up the concrete.

“Well of course they’re going to say this,” said Nichols/

He doesn’t think it adds up.

Nichols says there weren’t any other cars around when this happened, so he knows the curb isn’t to blame.

So we made more calls and sent more emails to BNSF and asked to meet an inspector at the bridge.

When we finally heard back they said an inspector wasn’t available.

Later when a reporter went out to the bridge a BNSF truck was there, but left before we could ask any questions.

“Eventually the one out of 100 will be here and it’ll be sad that this is brought to attention and no one’s stepping up to do anything about it,” said Nichols.

Nichols plans to continue making calls and asking questions.

We will too.

We’ve put in requests for more information with the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration and will let you know when we hear back.


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