Marinette and Menominee residents accustomed to using State Street in Marinette to reach a point of destination likely paid close attention to a recent Page One EagleHerald story, which outlined the frustrations motorists have when crossing the deplorable railroad tracks between Spruce and Sherman streets.

It’s a story that has appeared in our newspaper far too long. Not all of the stories written about the ruinous drive have appeared on Page One. EagleHerald editorial writers, letters to the editor and Sound Off letters have expressed their concerns about the shabby conditions of the rail crossing for several years.

The tracks are owned and operated by Canadian National Railway (CN). The company’s high-powered trains pass through the Twin Cities on a regular basis. The crossing been wilting away for several years. Efforts to get the railroad to fix the crossing have fallen on deaf ears.

For some reason, we’re a little more hopeful at the recent announcement by City Engineer Brian Miller that help is on the way. Miller is the pointman for the city when it comes to reaching the decision-makers at Canadian National Railway. He’s had difficulty getting a response from CN. However, Miller told members of the city council’s Civic Affairs, Cemetery, Traffic & Lights Committee that he was successful in connecting with company officials and plans are on the drawing board to reconstruct the State Street crossing next year.

Miller also noted that workers under his wing did some maintenance work to ease the distress when crossing the tracks.

Railroad companies across the U.S. hear complaints about their property lines on a steady basis. They budget so much money for repairing these tracks. But, by golly, if the railroad companies are using the rails that pass through cities, towns and hamlets they should be earmarking funds to fix up the messy crossings on a more frequent basis.

The State Street route has long been a preferred passageway for local motorists headed to work, a shopping trip to Pine Tree Mall, a medical appointment or for some other reason they consider important. Their frustrations — in some cases anger — have been on display when crossing the decayed railroad tracks in question.

In fact, there’s another crossing on State Street that is in need of repair. The track, located near Marinette Farm & Garden Store, is used by Escanaba & Lake Superior Railroad.

Kudos to Mr. Miller for keeping the pressure on railroad companies traveling through our cities. If railroad companies want to snake through our cities and towns and earn sizable profits in doing so, we expect them to maintain the property they use.