Gulfport residents frustrated with overgrowth between homes and railroad tracks

Gulfport residents frustrated with overgrowth between homes and railroad tracks

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Overgrowth between the railroad tracks and a Gulfport neighborhood is causing a safety concern for some residents.

When David Starling looks out at his backyard from his home on Collins Blvd. He sees a ditch filled with weeds between his property and the railroad tracks. He calls it a safety hazard. 

"We end up with a lot of mosquitoes, snakes, rats, and we end up with all sorts of debris. It just leads to stagnant water that creates mosquitoes," Starling said.

According to Starling, the area hasn't been cutback in more than three years. When he contacted Gulfport, he said the city told him they didn't have the authority to cut it. 

"There was a trespassing ordinance. This is actually CSX right away, and CSX only wanted their personnel on it," Starling said. 

Now more than a year after making his initial request, Starling is still waiting for action. 

"What I was told was that they were trying to work with CSX to figure out who was going to do it and how often," Starling said. 

CSX has an online form where residents can report problems and CSX officials say they work to respond accordingly. 
But Starling says he and his neighbors have filled out the form many times, and now he doesn't care who does the work. He just wants to see results.

"You need somebody to come out here at least once or twice a month and bush hog this whole thing to keep the drainage ditch clean, and make sure the water is flowing downhill," said Starling.

In a statement to WLOX, Gulfport Public Works Director Wayne Miller said, "The area within the CSX right away is CSX's responsibility to maintain. The city is working with CSX to potentially take over all grass cutting in the right of way."

Miller added that it's CSX policy to not cut grass within 25 feet of the tracks, and they will typically spray that area to control the grass.

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