As if Cambridge motorists weren’t fed up enough with traffic delays on Highway 95 caused by trains, what played out late Monday afternoon, Feb. 3, only amplified their frustrations.
For over 3 1/2 hours, beginning shortly after 5 p.m., the railroad’s warning arms were stuck down, initially causing a long backup that stretched to at least Minnco’s building to the west.
According to Cambridge Police Chief Todd Schuster, the department was alerted to the problem and sent an officer to run traffic control starting at 5:23 p.m., directing traffic to weave around the arms in alternating directions until the arms were fixed at approximately 8:58 p.m.
In addition, the problem was posted on multiple community social media pages, suggesting commuters take various detours to avoid the congestion. Those posts, however, also created confusion as to how long the arms had been malfunctioning, with one post suggesting it was as early as 11:15 a.m.
“If the arms were down earlier in the day, it was for a short period of time and nobody called dispatch to report it,” said Schuster.
Another possible cause of the earlier congestion, and thus the confusion, was MnDOT was filling potholes along Highway 95, near the railroad crossing earlier in the day.
Schuster said he has not been told what caused this particular malfunction.
“Unfortunately, this happens every once in a while,” he said. “It is an inconvenience for motorists.”