Final results of railroad study to be revealed Tuesday

Monday, October 2, 2006

A final report detailing options the city has for possibly making major structural safety improvements of the railroad in Fort Scott will be unveiled Tuesday at the Fort Scott City Commission meeting.

The meeting starts at 8 a.m. inside the Commission Room at City Hall, 1 E. Third St.

Representatives from Felsburg, Holt and Ullevig, an engineering firm based in Omaha, Neb. that conducted the comprehensive study, will present the results of the nearly year-long study that identified four options for alleviating the inconvenience and improving safety of trains running through Fort Scott.

The four components include: Determination of the best location for an additional grade separation over or under the railroad tracks, an increase of the vertical clearance at the Third Street underpass, a recommendation for safety measures at rail crossings to establish a trail horn "quiet zone," and an evaluation of the feasibility of relocating the BNSF railroad around Fort Scott.

The Kansas Department of Transportation administered funding for the study that cost $100,000 and was paid for with federal funds. Fort Scott city officials got the process started by asking transportation officials about conducting a study to determine how train traffic impacts the Fort Scott community.

KDOT and the city jointly conducted two public forums, the first in March and the last in August, as a campaign to educate the public about the options. Engineers with KDOT and Felsburg answered questions from residents about the study.

Commissioners also will address the following:

* Discussion of a letter drafted by the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce that asks downtown property owners, including the City of Fort Scott, about whether or not they support creating a historic district downtown. The city owns multiple properties where the district might be located and the chamber wants to get the commission's opinion on the project.

* A vote on whether to enter into an agreement with KDOT to proceed with the rehabilitation of the Mill Creek Bridge. The agreement must be approved before proceeding with the project, according to city officials.

* Recognize seven long-time city employees who have reached milestones with the city.