- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Sioux City officials say a proposed $20.7 million viaduct to prevent railroad delays in the Hoeven Valley will close at least one train crossing to through traffic.

The Sioux City Journal (https://bit.ly/1TzYuBK ) reports that city staff told the City Council on Monday that closing three streets to traffic at railroad crossings will force people to use the proposed viaduct. Officials say the viaduct will reduce traffic and rail delays, allow switching yards to operate more efficiently, and reduce response times for emergency vehicles.

The city is seeking about $14.8 million from the U.S. Department Transportation for the project. The city is also looking for local contributions for the additional $6 million.

Mayor Bob Scott said the city should closely examine railroad companies’ contributions because the city has had soft relationships with big train companies in the past.

“You have them in a situation where they want something from us, and you should take advantage of that,” Scott said.

The city is also looking into whether nearby businesses will contribute to the project, which could begin in the spring of 2017 if funding is secured.

The Hoeven Valley often has heavy traffic as a result of long delays at railroad crossings. The industrial manufacturing and residential area is 5 miles long and 1 mile wide.

The city’s engineer, Glenn Ellis, says the city staff will hold a public meeting on the project the week of April 18.

The council has approved a contract with JEO Consulting Group to complete the viaduct’s final design, which is due to City Council on Aug. 1.

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Information from: Sioux City Journal, https://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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