There’s a Fully Functional Railroad Crossing Near Ithaca, Michigan Where There Is Absolutely No Road
At every railroad crossing in America, there is some kind of signage to warn drivers of the potential danger of a crossing train. Many of these crossings have the familiar blinking red lights and bells. This railroad crossing south of Ithaca, Michigan lights up every time a train passes. The problem, there's no road there.
There used to be. The railroad crossing is along a former alignment of US 27 between Lansing and Ithaca, once the main road up the middle of Michigan's mitten to the Straits of Mackinac. The roadway was reconstructed and upgraded to expressway standards. It even got a new name, US 127.
Watch a train go by with no worry about any cross traffic.
In the video, you can clearly see how the roadway once went straight north as the highway now curves to the west.
The abandoned street, Bagley Road, once connected to US 127 as shown on this Street View image
So did someone overlook removing the signals? Well maybe not overlooked, but it's a jurisdictional thing. The roadway removed was either the responsibility of the Michigan Department of Transportation or the Gratiot County Road Commission. However, the railroad crossing equipment is the property and responsibility of the railroad so no state or county workers could or would touch it.
An interesting question is if the trains need to blow their horn as they pass here. The answer would appear to be yes, a commenter on Facebook commented, "if there’s an X sign on the ROW [right of way], then yes."
[h/t Old Highway Alignments Facebook Group]
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