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Improvements to Railroad Crossings Along Longmont’s Atwood Street to Begin Next Week

August 7, 2018

Lisa Hill takes Jager across the railroad tracks on Atwood Street at the intersection of Longs Peak Avenue on Tuesday.

BNSF Railway is to begin upgrading the timber railroad crossings along Longmont’s Atwood Street on Monday, with the work expected to continue through the rest of that week and the following two weeks, weather permitting.

There are four crossings of the BNSF tracks along Atwood — at Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Longs Peak avenues — and the city said in a news release that BNSF anticipates being able to complete one to two railroad crossing repairs per work week.

The plan is to close one intersection at a time, but work may require a temporary closing of two intersections to allow contractors to finish a the crossing within the work windows allowed by BNSF.

Anticipated working hours will be from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.

The project consists of removing and replacing the existing BNSF railroad vehicle and pedestrian crossings along Atwood Street at the four intersections.

The city staff has reported being notified last year about being notified of an unsafe situation on a railroad track crossing where a pedestrian in a wheel chair was caught in a gap between the existing timber at Fourth and Atwood.

After that incident, the city staff began working with BNSF to temporarily fill the pedestrian crossing gaps and to sign an agreement to permanently address the problem intersections along Atwood Street this year.

Signs will be placed 72 hours in advance for the no parking areas required during construction along Atwood Street and the avenues crossing it. During construction, Atwood Street will be closed to through traffic at whatever intersection is being worked on at the time, but the rest of Atwood is to be open to all local north-south traffic. Some lane shifts will be necessary to accommodate the railroad improvements.

No parking restrictions will be enforced adjacent to each intersection.

Access to residences, as well as to Columbine Elementary School, will be maintained throughout the project. As construction occurs at each intersection, flaggers will be present to route residents to their homes and students to school.

Ellen Hilbig, a civil engineer who is the city’s project manager for the Atwood crossings, said the total cost of upgrading all four crossings is $330,000. Longmont has an agreement for each crossing with BNSF to split the cost of materials and labor required to repair and upgrade the railroad crossings, about $220,000 of the $330,000.

Hilbig said the city will pay half the $220,000 and BNSF the other half. The remaining $110,000 of the total $330,000 project expense, which represents the costs of traffic control, asphalt patching and concrete pedestrian crossings and ramps, will be the city’s responsibility.

For more information and updates throughout the crossing upgrades project, visit bit.ly/rr-crossings or call 303-651-8416.

John Fryar: 303-684-5211, jfryar@times-call.com or twitter.com/jfryartc

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