Ignico railroad crossing gate in Warner Robins finished ahead of schedule

The installation of a gate at the dangerous Ignico Drive railroad crossing in Warner Robins is complete, with work done ahead of schedule, the Georgia Department of Transportation announced Thursday.

The May 27 death of a mother and her infant daughter, on the heels of a string of accidents there in recent years, prompted a community push to get a gate installed as soon as possible.

Work on the gate began July 17. At the time, a Norfolk Southern spokeswoman said the work was significantly expedited over normal procedure and was expected to be completed by late August.

“I am very proud of the work that went into getting these warning devices installed and working,” said David Millen, West Central Georgia district engineer for the state Department of Transportation, in a news release. “Many people worked together in order to provide a safer crossing for the traveling public in Warner Robins.”

According to the release, Norfolk Southern had until September just to get the cost estimate, but the project was pushed forward “in record time.”

Workers were out testing the gates Wednesday and Thursday.

The Department of Transportation had to give the OK to install the gate, and paid for the cost. Norfolk Southern did the installation and will maintain the gate.

The final cost of the project was not immediately available Thursday, but previous estimates put it at $200,000 to $350,000.

Since 2007, four people have died in accidents at the crossing, and numerous other vehicle/train collisions have occurred.