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Railroad to resume work on Tamaqua tracks

The Reading and Northern Railroad plans to finish a project it began in April on railroad tracks near Vine and North Railroad streets.

Resident Tom Williams asked borough council about the project’s progress during Tuesday’s meeting.

“My question is about the road that’s over on Railroad Street that they got all tore up. I was told that that was going to stay that way, is that true?,” Williams asked of the chunks of blacktop that lie near the tracks that parallel Route 309.

Council Vice President Ronald Bowman noted that the borough abandoned the road for the railroad project. In April, members voted to vacate Vine Street from North Railroad Street to 31.5 feet west of the centerline of the railroad tracks.

Bowman, too, said he was wondering when the work would be finished.

“They jumped right on it when everything went through and now it seems like they just walked away,” he said.

Bowman compared the look of the project to that of a “mine shaft.”

Jay Stidham, the borough’s director of public works, said he recently spoke to railroad officials.

He learned that crews plan to return soon - even this week - to finish the work.

When they do, Stidham said, they’ll remove the blacktop chunks.

“They will finish taking it out, then put dirt in and replant grass,” Stidham explained. “It will look like one continuous grass strip all the way down.”

The Reading and Northern Railroad will return this or next week to finish this project near at the intersection of Vine and North Railroad (Route 309) streets. The railroad will remove the pieces of blacktop and plant grass. JILL WHALEN/TIMES NEWS