While one Powell railroad crossing is expected to reopen at the end of the week, two more are scheduled to close next month on two of the city's busiest streets.

CSX on March 26 closed the Seldom Seen Road railroad crossing to traffic to allow workers to move forward with a crossing-reconstruction project. The crossing is located between Seldom Seen Road's intersections with Liberty Street and Sawmill Parkway.

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The city of Powell expects two-way traffic will resume on the road by the end of the day Friday, March 30.  (Editor's note:  The city of Powell announced March 29 that inclement weather will delay the opening until April 4.)

While drivers who travel Seldom Seen Road will see relief by the end of the week, more congestion-related pain is expected around downtown Powell in April.

According to a news release from the city, CSX will close the crossing at South Liberty Street, which sits just north of Murphy Parkway, for similar work April 2-13. The crossing at West Olentangy Street, which also is known as state Route 750, will be shut down April 16-20.

During their March 20 meeting, Powell City Council members expressed frustration with the planned closures.

Councilman Brian Lorenz said the closures and resulting traffic congestion could lead the city to pay for new signs, overtime for police officers and other costs. He said the city should ask CSX for reimbursement for any such costs.

"We feel that our request will probably fall on deaf ears, but it's the least (CSX) can do," he said.

Lorenz, who alongside other Powell officials learned of the plans early last week, said he thinks the railroad should have given the city more time to plan for the disruption.

Mayor Jon Bennehoof said he expects the closures will be "painful" for local drivers, while Vice Mayor Tom Counts questioned the timing of the work.

"The most painful thing is, it seems like it wasn't that long ago these (crossings) were (repaired)," Counts said.

City Manager Steve Lutz said the closures are part of a major "national rail-improvement program," which will lead to work on CSX's rails and crossings throughout central Ohio and beyond. He said the work is not comparable to the typical crossing repairs completed in prior years.

"This is something different than what's been done in the past," he said.

Lorenz said he hopes Powell residents realize city officials have little power when it comes to decisions made by CSX.

"We have little if any say ..." he said. "We're just really at their mercy."

tgallick@thisweeknews.com

@twgallick