Work should begin soon on designing a new pedestrian railroad crossing at Lafayette Street.

Washington City Council members recently approved an ordinance entering into an agreement with Union Pacific Railroad for the preliminary design work which is expected to cost about $5,000. The city will reimburse the railroad for the work.

The city previously approved an agreement with the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission for the improvements.

The preliminary design work will help develop cost estimates for the project, which will include placement of asphalt between the railroad tracks, extending the railroad track panels and installing base rock and concrete sidewalks.

Last September, the East-West Gateway Council of Governments board of directors approved an 80-20 Surface Transportation Program (STP) enhancement grant was approved for the Lafayette Pedestrian Crossing project.

If Union Pacific approved the project based on the preliminary design work, the railroad will continue to work with the city to develop final plans, specifications and material and cost estimates for the construction work, according to the agreement.

The total estimated cost is $300,000. The STP grant will cover $240,000 of that total. The city’s matching amount will be $60,000.

Two 12-foot-wide sidewalks on both sides of the street at the railroad crossing are being proposed along with modifications to the signal and arms at the crossing.

The city applied for an enhancement grant in 2010 to fund the project, but that application was not approved.