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The Hesston Record
347 B Old Hwy 81
Hesston, KS 67062
(620) 327-4831

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Hesston Record 10.23



Hesston Record 10.23

Smoother, Safer Railroad Crossings Coming To Hesston

Posted 11/19/2013

Record Staff

After several years of rough roads, the Kansas Department of Transportation and the railroad companies will be smoothing feathers, and crossings, with the help of federal funds.

According to Kim Stich at KDOT in the Office of Public Affairs the state is poised to receive significant federal funding for railroad crossings.

“KDOT receives about $10 million a year of federal safety funds to improve rail crossings in Kansas. KDOT has a priority list that annually ranks all public at-grade railroad crossings in the state. These crossings ranked high enough to receive funds,” she said.

Stich said the Hesston crossings have been on KDOT’s radar for several years.

“These crossings ranked high enough on the previous priority lists to be selected for funding for safety improvements.  The railroad schedules the construction after the agreements for the projects were completed and KDOT authorized them to order materials and begin work,” she said.

While the projects have been approved by KDOT, actual change may take months.

“The railroad is responsible for the schedule of each project. Once the railroad is authorized to order materials and begin work, it can take up to a year to acquire materials, schedule labor and begin construction.  The current estimated starting date is April 2014 to August 2014. Once construction begins, the signal portion of the project should take approximately three to four weeks. The crossing surface portion of the project should take approximately two to four days,” she said.

Four sets of tracks have been selected for improvement.

“The Main Street project will install new railroad crossing signals with gates, control house and concrete crossing surface.

“The Ridge Road project will install new railroad crossing signals with gates, control house and concrete crossing surface. These signals will also be interconnected to the traffic signals at the intersection of Ridge Road and Hesston Road.

“The Lincoln Blvd. project will install new railroad crossing signals with gates, control house and concrete crossing surface.

“The Randell Street will install new railroad crossing signals with gates, control house and concrete crossing surface,” said Stich.

While residents will see significant changes to the crossings, they will certainly feel the difference while driving over the crossings.

“The new crossing surface will include the installation of new cross ties, rail, ballast and concrete crossing surface panels at each crossing,” she said.

Stich said the railroad companies will be picking up part of the bill for the projects.

“The railroad funds the cost of the ballast, labor and equipment for the crossing surface portion of each project,” she said.

A crossing with a concrete surface is located near the corner of Hickory Street and Old Highway 81 on the south-side of Hesston.

While the projects’ improvements are extensive, Stich said they will not cause significant long-term disruptions.

“The signal portion of the project would have minimal interruption to traffic. The crossing surface portion of the project may require lane closures or full closure for approximately two to four days.  There will be little to no impact on train movements ” she said.

 “it’s a state driven project so KDOT did select the crossings.

On the stateprojects the state pays about 85% and the rest is the railarods re

Thetime fram e im not sure worki on udruing dwon  times as much as possible they got it done very quiely were working at night and what they’ll do is schedule around customer scheudule  crossings have ot be shut donw. Somtiems a very short abount of time sometimes a couple days.

 Don’t’ have the timeframe.

 We’ll have to work with the city we have na electric company that does a lot of our crossing work for us so they ar ein charge of contacting and making sure everything smoothly.

 Tvan@watcocompanies.com

When will work begin in Hesston?
When will the work be completed?

What crossing will be completed first?

Will they be upgraded back-to-back or will there be breaks between crossing upgrades?

Why were these crossings not outfitted with gates and lights initially?

What is the total financial commitment by WATCO in Hesston?

What would you like the community to know about these upgrade?