The City Council has authorized an agreement with BNSF Railroad for improvements related to reconstruction of Kay and Water streets.
Cost of the work is not to exceed $201,017.
The approval came at the council’s March 26 meeting after an explanation by City Engineer Dan Squires about the work and the overall West End redevelopment design, which this is part of.
“This is going to be a great project for the West End,” Squires said.
Since part of the work involves the railroad, its owner, BNSF, had to get involved and an agreement reached.
Improvements will include relocating signal equipment, a crossing for the sidewalk portion and a new crossing.
The contract also provides a blueprint for the contractor working with the railroad, including training and insurance policies, Squires said. The details are quite involved, he added.
“The city’s contractor will be required to enter into an agreement with BNSF and follow specific railroad requirements,” he said.
Squires said his staff will ensure the selected contractor is prepared and qualified to work with BNSF to complete the project.
The railroad will be responsible for long-term maintenance of the upgrades.
The project is part of the Capital Improvement Plan to reconstruct Kay from K-15 to Water and Water from Kay to Madison Avenue to what is called an urban standard.
That includes stormwater sewers, curb and gutter, and a sidewalk on one side.
Squires said his staff has been “working very hard on this.”
“Building a project like this in an existing area is, to say the least, a challenge,” he said.
That’s because of existing utilities and easements.
All easements necessary to construct the project have been acquired, and utility relocation work is underway and expected to be complete in early May.
Squires said the final design work is being completed and the project is expected to bid in late spring.
Since the area is part of the oldest section of the city and more than 100 years old, Squires said it’s expected that issues will arise as the project goes along, even though due diligence was completed.
“We’re going to run into something out there,” he said. “I’ll be surprised if we don’t because of the age.”
The cost of the agreement has already been figured into the CIP and council members had no issue with the expense, approving it unanimously.