A CSX Railroad crossing on Defiance’s west side — not far from busy Baltimore Road — is scheduled to close next week for repairs, prompting concern among city officials.

The Atlantic Street crossing, just south of Baltimore, is in poor condition and uneven. Motorists crossing it must slow down considerably when crossing to avoid the effects of the inconsistent pavement.

According to Defiance County Engineer Warren Schlatter’s office — which was notified of the closure by CSX Friday — the crossing is scheduled to close from Monday-Friday, weather permitting. Few specifics were provided by CSX, but local officials assume it is to repair the crossing.

Baltimore Road has become more busy since late February when the Clinton Street bridge was closed for removal and replacement.

Therefore, Atlantic Street has been used more as well as a way to circumvent heavier traffic, according to Mayor Mike McCann.

He expressed dismay at the timing of the repair, and questions the urgent need.

“With the bridge closure, that route has been one of the chosen ways for people to get over to Baltimore Road,” he noted. “I recently crossed that crossing and can’t really see — in my opinion — that it is in too bad of shape. I wish that CSX would have consulted with us before making the decision to make this very untimely closure.”

Asked about the expected impact on traffic, McCann said, “the impact on traffic on Deatrick Street (which adjoins Baltimore Road further to the east) is horrible now. I don’t know what’s worse than horrible, but it’s going to be worse than horrible.”

The mayor suggested that those using the Atlantic Street crossing go a little further west to Krouse Road, which connects to County Road 424 (outside the city limits) and Baltimore Road (within the city limits).

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