City News

Posted on: June 26, 2017

City of Suffolk to Post Exempt Signage on 12 Highway/Railway Crossings

On April 12, 2014 and August 7, 2014, the Surface Transportation Board of the Federal Highway Administration granted a Service Discontinuance finding that started the process of no train traffic on the Norfolk, Franklin, and Danville (NF&D) Railway in the City of Suffolk, west of its crossing of Carolina Road/Route 13/32.  All crossings beginning at Turlington Road to the railway leaving the City of Suffolk at its boundary with Isle of Wight County are affected.

As a result, the railway company has removed all gates, deactivated all lights and bells, and removed all train traffic from this rail line. On August 2, 2017, the City of Suffolk Public Works Department will post EXEMPT signage at the noted twelve (12) highway/rail crossings.  Under federal law, the drivers of certain vehicles, including school buses, vehicles carrying passengers for hire, and vehicles transporting hazardous material, must stop at all rail crossings before proceeding across.  The EXEMPT signage removes this requirement. 

These special vehicles are often involved in vehicle-vehicle collisions because other motorists might not expect drivers of these vehicles to stop.  Therefore, on a railway with no train traffic, this exemption is a safety enhancement. 

These exemptions are only applicable where signed and currently will only be on the NF&D railway line in the southern part of the City of Suffolk.  No other highway/rail crossings are affected.

The affected crossings include the following:

Turlington Road

Manning Road

Manning Bridge Road

Copeland Road

Lummis Road

Pioneer Road

Longstreet Lane

Dutch Road

South Quay Road

Brentwood Road

Elwood Road

Harvest Drive

 A copy of the engineering study supporting this change in signage and control may be found on the homepage of the City’s website, For more information, contact City Traffic Engineer, Robert Lewis, at 757-514-7603 or [email protected]

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