Residents of Semmes AL are certainly aware of the road widening project of Schillinger Road. This morning offered a lot more activity than what is normally seen so I decided to look around, take a few pictures and find someone that might give an update on the road work. The majority of the workers on Schillinger Road concentrate on the task at hand and the ones I talked with knew little more than what they needed to do at that time and how to get it done. Fair enough. That’s probably a smart work ethic for all the people out on that stretch of road since they’re constantly having to look out for people like you and I merrily driving on our way down or up Schillinger, sometimes oblivious to what is going on. I did manage to corner up Bill Wilder working for The CN (Canadian National) Railway.
Well, not actually corner up – more like take advantage of. Bill is responsible for the safety of anyone working on or near the Railroad’s 100 foot right of way when any type of work is going on. So, you see, Bill had to stay put to do his job. He was nice enough to talk and give me a good education while he was doing his job. Bill told me he was actually responsible for the safety of workers between mile post 13.2, south of the Schillinger Road RR Crossing, and mile post 14, 3/4 mile north of the Schillinger Road crossing. Bill and I were having our talk at mile post 13.30, the Schillinger Road crossing.
I really don’t understand much railroad lingo but I’m fairly good with construction terms so when Bill and I started talking about what has been done and what is yet to be done to build the railroad overpass on Schillinger Road, I started taking a few notes. Bill set me straight right away that he was not with the construction crews and knew nothing more than what he saw or heard. “My job is safety. Regardless of what you may have heard – that old tale about always being able to hear a train, just ain’t so. Those trains can be up on you before you know it. My job is the safety of the people out here.”
Well that made me feel pretty comfortable so I asked what he could tell me about the overpass that will be built and he shared some info he had gleaned while on the job. The Schillinger Road railroad overpass will be 5 lanes, as will Schillinger Road, which will give residents in the vicinity the opportunity for safe turns into and out of their subdivisions in the area of the overpass. All of the underground work has been completed or made ready – sewer lines, gas lines and so forth. Completion of the roadwork and overpass is probably going to be another year in the works. Bill said he has heard that there are plans to build overpasses for the railroad tracks at Wulff Road and Firetower Road.