Mark Taylor
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The Edgerton Council has approved a $44,800 agreement for professional services related to planned quiet zones at the 199th Street and Nelson Street crossings.
The contract with Olsson Associates includes work regarding pre-construction documents, testing, permitting and final design work on the crossings.
When the quiet zones are completed, trains entering and exiting the planned intermodal logistics park on the east side of Edgerton will not be required to blow their whistles at those crossings except in cases of emergency.
Mike Press, interim city administrator, said the work will require some realignment of specific access points to accommodate an island in the middle of the street to prevent cars from “crossing over.”
As a result of the islands, entrances to Mildale Farm on 199th Street and Edgerton Lake on Nelson Street will have to be realigned as part of the work.
“The Mildale entrance won’t be accessible to one side, so the entrance has to be moved back a few yards,” Press said. “It will route around and connect to the original road.
“The Nelson Street access to the lake will also be impacted when curbing is placed in the middle of the street to prevent crossover. We have to move the entrance beyond the edge of that curb structure.”
Press said the construction schedule is dependent upon the intermodal’s progress.
But construction could be underway in as little as a month, and 199th Street is the first project on the list.
“The (construction) timeframe is not certain,” he said. “It depends on how much work we have to do with the railroad on access and timing.
Construction is being financed with revolving funds from the state as a part of the city’s finance agreement for the project and also from revenues paid to the city in lieu of taxes as part of the project agreement.
“They have already given us money that can only be used for improvements that were outlined in the agreement,” Press said.
Proposed overpasses at 207th Street, Waverly Street and possibly Four
Corners Road are further into the future.
No firm plans are in place for those improvements.
“There has been talk of improvements or a bridge down the road,” Press said. “But there is nothing the city is actively involved in at this time.”
In the meantime, construction work is underway at the intermodal logistics park property.
Skip Kalb, director of strategic development for BNSF, said last week more than 85 pieces of heavy equipment are involved in the initial stage of construction.
The project cleared a major hurdle last week when a federal judge ruled against an environmental group that filed suit against BNSF last year claiming the intermodal development posed regional environmental hazards.
HELP, along with the Kansas Natural Resource Council (KNRC) and five individuals, had sued BNSF and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over what they claimed was an inefficient environmental study for the 1,000-acre development, slated to open during the last quarter of  2013.