Originally, members Robert Rominger and Terry Caywood had voted in favor of the closing, contingent upon getting more information.
After driving in the area in question and hearing from community members, the committee had a unanimous vote recommending the crossing remain open. The recommendations will go to the Commission for a final vote.
County resident Olivia McLaurine was at Wednesday’s meeting to express her appreciation. McLaurine had spoken to the Commission about not closing the crossing because her mother owns property on both sides of the railroad tracks.
Closing a portion of Old Lower River Road was also considered. Committee members said many of the people who work at Olin use the road.
Bradley County Commission Chairman Louie Alford said many people still use the road.
He said if the road was closed it would leave only one main road in and out.
“I would never vote to close that road,” Alford said.
Originally, Wacker Polysilicon North America and Olin had requested the road be closed because a chlorine pipeline was going to be built underneath it.
The need to replace a bridge on the road is also a factor the committee considered.
Committee member Terry Caywood said he had been in the community asking for residents’ opinions.
“I haven’t found a single person who wanted it closed,” Caywood said.
Caywood said he thought there would be some state grant money available for repairing or replacing the bridge. County engineer Sandra Knight said she was unsure if there was a deadline to have the bridge completed based on the most recent inspection of the bridge.
Commissioner Ed Elkins said closing the road would add two miles to someone’s travel time.