Several residents of Stuart Smotherman Road came to the Logan County Fiscal Court meeting on Tuesday to ask the court to re-open a small connector road that has been closed by the railroad.
The road, which has been known by several names, but has a small white sign designating it as Stacy Lane, connects Kentucky Route 3519 (old Lewisburg Road) with Stuart Smotherman Road.
There are no houses on the road, which is only about 500 feet or so long, but it does have a dangerous railroad crossing - which is why it was closed.
“Four trucks have been stuck on those tracks since last May,” said Logan County Judge/Executive Logan Chick. “And that’s just the ones we know about. We don’t know how many others have been stuck and not called it in.”
So on March 3, the railroad closed the crossing - which brought several to fiscal court seeking relief and answers.
“We use that road pretty much every day,” said Robert Collins, who spoke for the group of about a half dozen citizens. “And I’d like to see that road re-opened.”
Collins said that everyone can still get to their homes, but now have to drive approximately a half mile out of their way in order to do so.
Chick explained that he had looked into the situation and there was little that the county government can do at this time.
“At some time around 1986 the state came in and looked at all the county roads and that particular road was never put on the county map,” Chick said.
Prior to 1986, the road was considered a county road, but since it was never actually officially added to the map of county roads, it does not belong to the county and fiscal court cannot do anything about the closing of the crossing.
Chick said that he had contacted the state roads department and asked them to do an assessment of the crossing. Once the fiscal court is told how much it would cost to make the crossing safe, they could choose to add the road to the county system and make the crossing safe for everyone.
But until that time, the road will remain closed.
“It will be probably two or three weeks before we hear back from the state about it,” Chick said. “And it would be at least a six week process to make that a county road.”
County attorney Joe Ross advised Collins that if the road is not added to the county map, the only way for the members of the community to get the road reopened is by hiring a private attorney.
“This is just a civil matter right now and would have to be pursued in civil court,” Ross said.