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New railroad signal to be in place by spring

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An uncontrolled railroad crossing along Lincoln Avenue and Fourth Street is the site of a pending Burlington-Northern railroad improvement project. Safety arms will be installed in the area to warn cars of a pending train.

Sunnyside Engineer Jim Bridges is expecting Burlington-Northern Railroad officials to have in place by this spring new safety signals at the railroad crossing at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Fourth Street.

The railroad crossing improvement project has been on the city's six-year transportation improvement plan for the last couple of years. Bridges said the city finally submitted in August 2003 the needed paperwork to receive the $183,000 from the state utilities and transportation committee.

The City of Sunnyside serves only as the pass through agency for the money from the state, said Bridges. Bridges said the city is acting on behalf of the railroad, which is seeking the money to make improvements to the Lincoln Street crossing. Bridges said the city has to serve as the pass through agency for the money because the crossing is near or on public property. Bridges added that the city actually never receives the money from the state, but rather it goes to Burlington Railroad, which is in charge of the project.

The improvement project was originally identified by railroad officials as needing to be done to better improve safety in the area, said Bridges.

"It is an uncontrolled crossing," said Bridges.

The $183,000 the state allocated for the project covers both the design and construction phase of the project.

Bridges said the project should go rather quickly. No work will have to be done on the actual street area, Bridges added. He said the project will mainly consist of installing the long arms that come down to tell vehicles a train is coming. Bridges said the project is expected to be completed before the end of spring.

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