Grants Pass, Ore.– On a small piece of land running over Gilbert Creek, an old wooden railroad trestle is raising some concerns.
“Essentially in 2016 we started receiving complaints about the wooden railroad trestle that is in disrepair,” Lt. Todd Moran of Grants Pass Department of Public Safety.
According to city officials the piece of land which is owned by the Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad has been abandoned and unused for a very long time. A report from the city fire marshal back in 2016, after inspecting the site, determined the structure was deteriorating to the point of ”
Still, the railroad company has told the city the old structure is still viable and could be used later on.
“We found it’s been used by transient for camping. It’s been partially burned out for use as campfires and rotting away,” said Moran.
Moran believes it’s a hazard for members of the community especially with a public park and businesses right next door.
“We believe they would not use that for any kind of rail transport,” he said. “I don’t think I would want be anywhere near that if a car went over that.”
The company was cited and fined once last summer for having an unsafe structure and discussions about removing it had been made as well.
“The city had actually proposed removal of the trestle and was largely going to take on the expense of that and that was pushed back by the railroad,” said Moran.
Rebuilding the trestle was also considered until estimates showed it would be more expensive than removing the structure altogether.
Now discussions are at a standstill but the city is hoping that isn’t the case for long.
“We don’t want to sour relations with the railroad they have a lot of track that goes right through the middle of Grants Pass,” said Moran. “That’s certainly not our intent. We just want to be able to work towards a resolution that is good for them and us as well as the public that we serve.”
NBC5 News reached out to Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad for comment but haven’t heard back.
NBC5 News Reporter Miles Furuichi graduated from Chapman University with degrees in English and Journalism. He received post graduate experience in Los Angeles in photojournalism and commercial photography. He also spent time in Dublin, Ireland working in print journalism and advertising.
Miles is a Rogue Valley native, raised in Ashland. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking and photography.