Removal of railroad crossings along trail postponed

The removal of the railroad crossings along the Iowa River Rail Trail on West Main Street and Lincoln Way is postponed until spring.

The crossings were planned to be removed and replaced this week but the size of the crossings and climate interfered with the plan.

“Those crossings are a little bigger than the ones they’ve done so far,” said Bruce Campbell, assistant to the city engineer. “They would need additional equipment to try and get them out and the concrete back in with a short amount of time.”

Campbell said he is looking to put asphalt on the tracks for the winter.

“That will not be a permanent fix,” Campbell said. “We will try to get them a little bit smoother so they aren’t as rough as they are now.”

Campbell said he hopes to get the asphalt for the tracks from Cessford Construction when they make the Tallcorn Towers parking lot sometime around next week.

The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation is making arrangements to purchase the trail from the Iowa River Railroad. Toward the end of the month or early December, the city will get the grant money to purchase the corridor from the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation.

The delay of the removal of the railroad crossing should not affect the progress of the salvage of the trail.

“There are several towns that still have crossings that need to be removed,” Campbell said.

During this time, Terry Briggs president of TRAILS Inc., said the corridor is closed to the public.

Briggs stated in a press release TRAILS Inc.’s main concern is public safety.

According to the press release, heavy construction equipment operates along the right of way and there is a lot of work to be done to stabilize and properly secure the bridges and other structures along the trail.

In addition to safety, signage and other things must be completed before the trail is open to the public.

The railroad salvage will not be complete until the summer.