- Changes at railroad crossings are back on the drawing board
By Myrna Trauntvein
Planning for changes to railroad crossings in the west part of Nephi are back on the drawing board.
Randy McKnight, city administrator, said that the plans had been derailed for a time by changes in administration at UDOT and at Union Pacific.
“Several months ago, UDOT officials, Union Pacific Railroad officials and Nephi City all met to identify some areas where changes in crossings were needed,” said McKnight.
Those areas included 700 North, 100 North, Center Street and 200 South and a few lesser crossings.
Civil Science, an engineering firm, did some proposed drawings of ways those crossing could either be closed or redesigned to better meet the needs of the public in order to assure safe crossing through Nephi.
“A public meeting was held,” said McKnight. “There was significant opposition from the neighborhood concerning the 700 North design.”
Neighbors of the crossing thought, rather than redesign the road and spend needless dollars in doing so, the money would be better spent to install crossing arms to protect travelers coming up to the tracks.
The installation of lights and gates for a safer crossing were the suggestions made by those neighbors.
“It was also proposed that the Center Street crossing be closed,” said McKnight.
The first design called for the crossing to be gated and closed all of the time and only open during celebrations, such as the Ute Stampede, and then only to pedestrian traffic.
There were some concerns about that plan since that crossing leads directly into the county fairgrounds.
Now it is under consideration that the crossing could be open all of the time to pedestrian traffic, said McKnight.
“For the railroad to participate in the cost of the crossing changes,” said McKnight, “the number of crossing throughout town would need to be reduced.”
It also remains to be seen, he said, how Nephi would figure into the cost of the improvements and changes.
UDOT is looking at ways the entrances to the fairground could be improved on SR 132 West.
“The important thing is that we now have a current design and plans for upgrades and improvements,” said McKnight.”
The project is back on the drawing board for the future after being ignored for some months.