Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Spokane Valley Trying New Tactics in Obtaining Rail Crossing Grants

The rail crossing at Trent and Barker
The City of Spokane Valley has tried repeatedly to get federal grant funding to build over- and overpasses around busy rail road crossings with no luck. According to the Spokesman-Review, the city is now changing tactics on how it applies for those grants in the hope of having more success.

One project involves an overpass and interchange over the rail crossing at Barker Road next to Wellesley and Trent avenues.
The other grade separation project would be an underpass below the mainline at Pines Road just south of Trent.

At both Pines and Barker, vehicle traffic can be delayed by almost 56 trains a day. That means waiting cars are waiting next to a track used to transport flammable oil and other hazardous substances. It also causes problems for emergency vehicles delayed in responding to emergencies and commercial truck traffic.

Together, the grade separation projects, considered key pieces in the plan to separate traffic from rail lines in what is called the Bridging the Valley plan, are estimated at $56 million.

On Jan. 10, the City Council will consider adding $600,000 in city money to the project at Barker and Trent to revise designs, meet current federal standards and advance the project in hopes that the additional work will improve the competitiveness of the Barker Road grant application.

At the same time, City Hall is accepting requests for proposals for a team to complete final design for the Pines Road grade separation project.

Valley officials feel they might have a better response this time because freight movement has become a category for funding from both state and federal transportation departments in recent years and both projects include freight mobility components.


Charles Hansen said...

I know all the trucks going around the weigh stations in Idaho and Washington will really like a bridge at Barker road.

SRTC Staff said...

Yeah, I guess the Valley would really be helping them to slide past those stations.

About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.