Railroad Crossing Reopens More Than a Year After Teens Killed

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COLUMBIA TOWNSHIP, Ohio-- The railroad crossing where four Brunswick teenagers lost their lives in a crash last year reopened to the public Thursday night.

Final touches were put down along Boston Road in Columbia Township Thursday afternoon.

"They did a really nice job. They cleaned it up. It looks nice out here," said Steven Santell, who lives on Boston Road.

Neighbors watched as crews finished leveling out the slope where four Brunswick High School students died in a crash last year.

"This will definitely help. There's no incline now so no one can drop in and get hurt, unless they go into a ditch," added Santell.

Santell lives right in front of a small memorial that marks the lives of Jeffrey Chaya, 18, Kevin Fox, 18, Blake Bartchak, 17, and Lexi Poerner, 16.

The four teenagers died after their car lost control after going over the railroad tracks.

A fifth teenager survived the crash.

"This part of Boston Road has been closed since the beginning of June when we started widening the roadway. Crews have raised the grade of the roadway, essentially creating a gradual slope," said Christine Myers, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Transportation.

According to Myers, the road has nearly half a million dollars in safety changes in just over two months.

"Crews worked 10 hours a day, five days a week. And having the roadway closed during this time allowed them to get much more work done quicker," said Myers.

ODOT says they reopened the railroad crossing to coincide with the reopening of school, sot here wouldn't be any additional traffic delays.

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