Ruling Derails Railnet's Street Closure Plans

Georgia/Florida Railnet wanted Thomasville's Merrill and Stevens Streets both closed.

Tracks cut through both streets at their intersection. The rail company said the intersection was a danger to motorists. The city disagreed.

A public hearing held with area residents made a strong impression with the City Council.

Steve Sykes, Thomasville City Manager, says, "The city felt like this was a battle worth fighting; we really felt like for the sake of the neighborhood we needed to fight this as far as we needed to, and we're very pleased with the outcome of the court's decision.”

The city manager also says it's a victory for the neighborhood, where residents are happy with the decision.

Gary Lee Clark, who grew up on Merrill Street, says, "More relieved; there's less anxiety, less stress. They can make it to work, to different areas of town."

It’s a community-wide sigh of relief because their neighborhood and streets will remain open and on track.

The city manager says the state DOT heard the rail company's first appeal before going to the state hearing. The appeal period for that ruling has passed.