$3.4 million plan to build third route out of Ortega Hills

Neighborhood meeting held about CSX train delays

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Months after a train blocked both entrances of the neighborhood, City Councilman Jim Love has proposed a $3.4 million plan to build another route out of Ortega Hills as a permanent solution.

Saturday afternoon Councilman Love announced the proposal for a third road during a neighborhood meeting about ongoing CSX issues. 

“It is to take Cumming’s Lane, connect it to Golden Wings Lane and come out near Birmingham Gate," Love said. "It goes past the side track so when the train is parked that exit will not be blocked."

Neighbor James Taylor has lived in Ortega Hills for 57 years. He said with trains stopped for hours, it’s a lawsuit waiting to happen.

“We got a lot of families and kids in here, if there's an emergency someone could have a heart attack drop dead or whatever... what can we do," said Taylor.

It's an issue that came to spotlight back in June when a CSX train stopped on the tracks blocking both entrances for more than two hours.

The funds for the Ortega Third Road Project will come out of the Capital Improvements budget and will go before the city council to vote on at the end of September.

“Yes, I think it will pass," Love said. "After what the mayor saw on the news… people going through the trains."

In the meantime, neighbors agreed that no one should try to cross the tracks when a train is stopped, they say that will only add an extra 30 minutes to your wait because the conductor has to get out, walk the train to see if there's any more safety issues.

Councilman Love said he met with CSX and they said they will do what they can to try and help.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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