The Washington City Council has approved an agreement with the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission to make improvements at the Lafayette Street railroad crossing at the riverfront.

An ordinance authorizing the mayor to enter into the agreement was unanimously approved Monday night.

The agreement calls for financing a new pedestrian crossing at the railroad tracks with a federal transportation enhancement grant.

“The purpose of this agreement is to grant the use of such transportation enhancement funds to the city,” the agreement states.

In September, members of the East-West Gateway Council of Governments board of directors gave final approval to the latest Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) for the St. Louis metropolitan region, including the enhancement grant for Washington.

The new TIP outlines projects funded with Federal Highway Administration grants for the years 2013-16.

An 80-20 Surface Transportation Program (STVP) enhancement grant was approved for the Lafayette Pedestrian Crossing project.

The project will be designed in 2013 and constructed in 2014, according to City Engineer Dan Boyce.

Under the agreement the city is responsible for preparing preliminary and final plans for the project. Those plans will be submitted to the state which can require changes prior to approval.

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

Boyce said two 12-foot-wide sidewalks on both sides of the street at the railroad crossing are being proposed.

He also expects the work to include some 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.

There were no comments before council members authorized the agreement.

Members voting yes were Josh Brinker, Joe Holdmeier, Connie Groff, Walt Meyer, Steve Sullentrup and Mark Hidritch.

Members Tim Brinker and Jeff Mohesky were not at the meeting.