Railroad crossings in Brainerd are about to become much smoother.
The Brainerd City Council on Monday approved a reconstruction agreement with BNSF Railway for the Southwest Fourth Street crossing. The city would pay $329,962 for the reconstruction, with those funds to be reimbursed through state aid funding, said Don Klein, assistant city engineer.
The city council also learned that BNSF Railway will replace the South Fourth Street and South Sixth Street railroad crossings this fall and the South 13th Street crossing in 2006. The city only would pay for the bituminous approaches to those three crossings.
Mayor James Wallin said he has been requesting BNSF Railway fix the crossings for almost a year, going so far as inviting a BNSF Railway representative to drive with him across the bumpy crossings.
After writing a letter to the BNSF Railway chief executive officer, Wallin said he received word three weeks ago that the crossings would be fixed.
"The traffic on (South) Fourth Street, that's the highest used intersection in the downtown area outside of (South) Sixth Street," Wallin said. "I'm glad we did get some response back from Burlington Northern."
State aid funding also could be used to pay for some of the approaches, Klein said. City Administrator Dan Vogt said he would contact the Minnesota Department of Transportation about the South Sixth Street crossing.
Klein said BNSF Railway asked the city to participate in traffic control while the railroad crossings are being reconstructed.
MATT ERICKSON can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.