Union Pacific to city: Leave the crossing open and pay the price

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
image description
Union Pacific is now happy about a decision to leave an at-grade railroad crossing open.
David C. Lester

Bossier City, La., is not the boss when dealing with railroad property, and Union Pacific let the city council know that earlier this week.

The Class 1 railroad wants the Shed Road at-grade crossing to close and also is calling for the removal of a roundabout that has been proposed for the Walter O. Bigby Carriageway. The ultimate goal is to construct a railroad overpass.

The Bossier City Council was not prepared to talk about the crossing on Nov. 16, but the issue was added to the agenda after Mayor Tommy Chandler received a letter from Union Pacific.

In the letter, Erik Lewis, who is the manager of industry and public projects for Union Pacific, said the company just found out about the plan not to close the crossing, and if that is the case Union Pacific was going to require a review of the impact to the railroad, which could take up to three years. The Class 1 company would not allow work on the railroad right-of-way and would not approve the roundabout, which is near the crossing, due to safety and operational concerns.

The city currently has a $34 million project in the works, and delays could lead to cost overruns with the contractor. The decision to keep the crossing open would require a change in construction plans, which would have to be submitted to Union Pacific for review.

Crews are currently putting in drainage and culverts at the site, which will take another two weeks. The contractor also said if the roundabout was removed from the project drainage would have to be reconfigured.

Read more articles on Class 1s.

Tags: , , , , , ,