No one from the public attended the interested parties meeting to discuss the replacement of the Columbia Terminal, or COLT, railroad crossing Monday afternoon.
The City of Columbia and the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission will work together to replace the concrete rail bed and tracks at the Route B crossing.
The project is expected to cost $230,000. The city will pay for the project initially, but the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission will reimburse the city in full.
Ryan Williams, the assistant director of Water & Light and COLT, said he hopes to start the repairs this fall if the project is approved by the City Council.
Williams said COLT received “a lot of feedback” from Columbia residents who drive over the crossing regarding its condition. COLT decided to replace the crossing after it was inspected by MoDOT in December 2018.
Currently, the crossing is uneven because of natural wear and tear. Williams said the replacement of the rails will make it all one smooth surface.
“It’s just time to replace the crossing,” he said.
It’s not clear how the project will affect traffic. Once the plan is approved, the company that is chosen to repair the railroad will also complete a traffic study.
Williams said the current plan is to have a public hearing Aug. 19 at the City Council meeting.
The COLT railroad was acquired by the city in the late ’80s and was used to ship coal to the municipal power plant. The plant stopped burning coal in 2015, Williams said. The rail’s main traffic now is steel.
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