Railroad company plans safety improvements to Topeka Blvd. Bridge

TOPEKA (KSNT) — Remember that railroad bridge on Topeka Boulevard we first told you about last week?

Several drivers are still concerned about falling pieces of concrete, and after a few of our reports the railroad company is finally taking action.

Last Thursday driver Jeffrey Nichols came to us with a concern about a piece of concrete he says fell from that bridge and hit his windshield.

He contacted the railroad company about the issue, and so did we.

BNSF Railroad sent an inspector right out, but said what happened to Nichols wasn’t their fault. They blamed the broken street curb.

That didn’t make sense to us, so we kept asking questions and after seeing our reports last week, they’ve changed their tune.

Eight to ten BNSF workers gathered near the bridge Tuesday morning…digging, climbing, inspecting the bridge on Topeka Boulevard.

Since their corporate office had just told us the bridge is safe and in good condition, we wanted to know why such a large crew was sent out after the fact.

They wouldn’t answer our questions on camera, but they did say they’re addressing the issue.

We followed up with the corporate office again to see if they would tell me more, and they did.

They say the crew out there Tuesday was inspecting the bridge and creating a plan to better contain the ballast — the rocks that sit around the rails.

No work on the bridge was actually done Tuesday.

Jeffrey Nichols is just glad to see they’re finally doing something…

“I’m grateful for that. That we can correct the wrongs that we see that other people can be injured by,” said Nichols.

Nichols also says he’s glad KSNT news could help make that happen.

“Up until now, even though it’s only been about a week, they didn’t seem to want to be responsible for the situation,” said Nichols.

We’re told work to better contain those rocks around the rails could start as early as next week.

Right now the railroad company says they’re still working to coordinate that with the city, and once the work begins we’ll be back there to show you what they do.

BNSF also reiterated in its statement that the bridge is safe and the work the crew did Tuesday clearing rocks around the bridge should temporarily ensure no other cars encounter problems.


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