'Nonexistent' railway crossing to be closed, inconveniencing thousands

A railway crossing on Ezera Street, used daily by thousands of people, will soon be closed. The reason for its closure is that it does not appear in a project so it technically does not exist, Latvian Television's 4. studija reported Wednesday, November 1.

The closure of the crossing will inconvenience around 2,000 residents of Mangaļi and Mīlgrāvis districts, as well as entrepreneurs. To get to the city center, they will now have to make a five-kilometer detour to Vecmīlgrāvis.

"Latvian Railways" representative Agnese Līcīte said that the decision to close it has been taken in accordance with an agreement signed between the company and Rīga City Council in 2017.

"The agreement was signed with Rīga City Council in 2017 that when an overpass is built across the railway route Rīga-Skulte and a pedestrian bridge is built across Ezera Street, this crossing is to be closed," said Līcīte. Building of these bridges is a part of an infrastructure project Sarkandaugava-Mangaļi-Ziemeļblāzma. 

"We cannot avoid closing it because in this project, there is no such crossing," said Līcīte. "What we see in life must coincide with the project otherwise we cannot commission it."

The project has co-financing from the European Union so it must be accurate, Līcīte added.

Asked why the crossing was not included in the project, Līcīte said: "It's hard to comment what the reasoning was in 2017." 

Upon finishing the project, the crossing on Ezera Street will have its alarm system disconnected and it will thus become dangerous for traffic. Currently it is safe, since the system is working, but it will be disconnected since the project foresees it, and thus it will become unsafe and will have to be closed.

To install a new crossing, a new project must be developed. 

Līcīte acknowledged that public complaints have been received, so "Latvian Railways" and Rīga City Council plan to convene a meeting on the matter. The meeting is planned on November 8, 15:00 at the Ezera Street crossing.

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