City of Union -- stock

Work is scheduled to start Friday on the first of two railroad crossings to be rebuilt in Union.

Crews are expected to begin work on the Washington Avenue railroad crossing Friday, June 7, starting at 7 a.m. The road will be closed in both directions during the duration of the project.

City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann said there’s going to be “a lot going on” during the project. City crews will be working on storm sewer improvements at the same time as the railroad construction project.  

Project Background

Earlier this year Union aldermen approved two agreements with the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission and Central Midland Railway to improve railroad crossings at Church Street and Washington Avenue. Under the agreement, the crossings will be revamped, improved and totally rebuilt.

The city’s role in the project is minor. City Administrator Russell Rost said the city will be doing a storm sewer replacement and asphalt work.

With the asphalt work, Rost said the city is almost acting like a subcontractor.

“We will be doing the asphalt overlay, just because it’s something we do and the railroad contractors don’t,” he said.

A new storm sewer also will be installed. In April, the board of aldermen approved a contract with KJU, Washington, for a storm sewer replacement at the Washington Avenue crossing related to the project.

The deal will pay KJU $24,930.

“Anything the city does will be reimbursed by the railroad,” Rost said. “There’s an old storm sewer underneath the tracks. It’s made out of railroad ties. It must have been put in years and years ago. When they take the tracks up, that’s our opportunity to replace it.”

Zimmermann said the old wooden box culvert will be replaced with an 18-inch reinforced concrete pipe. He said the city may do additional work around the site while it has the chance. He said it’s not often the city has the opportunity to work in the railroad area so it’s seizing the opportunity.

Rost said he has received numerous complaints about the intersections. He said hopefully the improvements benefit drivers and pedestrians.

“We’re going to try and make it so it’s a little more user friendly for pedestrians,” he said. “That way they don’t have to get out in the street.”

Project Time Line

According to a schedule provided to the city, work is expected to take nearly a month.

Once work begins, the sections of Church Street and Washington Avenue will be closed in both directions. The plan is to do the projects separately. That way, drivers will have more options for alternate routes around the closed crossings.

Work is slated to start on Washington Avenue. That project is expected to take around 10 days. 

Crews are expected to be on site at 8:30 a.m. on Friday and begin working on the Washington Avenue crossing. Work is expected to wrap up Monday, June 17.

During the project, crews will be working weekends. 

Once the Washington Avenue crossing is redone, crews will then move to Church Street. The Church Street crossing is expected to be closed starting at 7 a.m. Tuesday, June 18.

The project is expected to wrap up Wednesday, July 3.

An inspection will follow the installation and close out the project.