Workers headed to International Paper’s Mansfield Mill Thursday had to take a detour. Highway 509 was blocked at LA 1 by a Union Pacific freight train. Here is the notice from the state highway department:
ROAD CLOSURE: LA 509 at intersection of LA 1, Red River Parish
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development advises motorists that, effective immediately, LA 509 at its intersection with LA 1 in Red River Parish is closed due to a train derailment. The railroad company is on site assessing the situation, working to return the rail cars to the track. Motorists are advised to expect possible traffic congestion on LA 1 as equipment is being moved into the area.
The Journal spoke with Burt Malenado, Union Pacific Safety Manager on the scene Thursday morning. Malenado said that no cars of the train left the tracks but there was a problem with several. He said it is difficult to get to the derailment site. A number of big trucks lined both sides of Highway 1 just north of LA 509. They had been used to transport heavy equipment to the scene.