LOVINGTON — People who have had tire damage related to the railroad track crossing on South Main Street in Lovington will be happy to know the tracks are scheduled to be repaired.
The attorney for the City of Lovington, Patrick McMahon, said he has been in contact with the Texas and New Mexico Railroad in regards to the repairs but an estimated date for the overhaul isn’t known yet.
But, the railroad will cover the cost and labor of the tracks being fixed on South Main Street/Hobbs Highway.
The railroad crossing at Avenue R will also be repaired by the railroad, and once those repairs are made, the city and the railroad company will split the cost of paving the Avenue R crossing, McMahon said.
And, the tracks have been in disrepair for some time.
On June 23, Lovington Police Department posted a “citizen advisory” on social media stating the railroad ties and spikes have become loose in regards to the crossing on South Main Street. LPD also mentioned the railroad had been contacted and because the railroad is the owner of the property, so the city of Lovington and NMDOT do not have the legal authority to make repairs to this part of the roadway.
The recent patches on the north bound lanes on Main were completed by the railroad company, said Vidal Martinez, the city manager for Lovington.
The subject of tire damage was brought up at the City of Lovington Commission meeting on Monday, McMahon said. He went on to say he was not aware of any residents who have made a claim for such damages.
“Since it is railroad property they (the railroad) would have to answer that question,” Martinez said in regards to anyone accepting liability for tire damages.
While several residents of Lea County have complained on social media about tire damage caused by the railroad crossings, local tire repair shops said they have seen an increase in business.
“We are seeing at least seven to 10 flats or blowouts per week,” said Casey Alexander, the office manager for Lovington Tire Service Inc. “Last Wednesday alone, we had three customers with blowouts from the railroad tracks.”
“There has been at least a 30 percent increase in service for flat tires,” said Robert Perez from Forrest Tire in Lovington.