The estimated cost is high but the Lafayette Street pedestrian crossing at the riverfront has a high volume of traffic, and with more than 50 Union Pacific trains a day, the proposed improvement project is warranted. The city of Washington has approved an agreement with the railroad to construct the improved crossing.
The proposed improvements include placement of asphalt between the railroad tracks, extending the railroad track panels, installing base rock and concrete sidewalks. Two 12-foot-wide sidewalks on both sides of the street at the crossing have been proposed. There will be modifications to the signal and arms at the crossing.
Total estimated cost is $300,000. Most of the cost will be covered by a grant. The city’s share is estimated at $60,000.
Many activities are held in the riverfront park. They really draw an increasing number of people. Even when there are no special events, people are drawn to the riverfront. Also, boaters come and go constantly, especially on weekends.
The mayor and city council agreed that the improvements are necessary and are advancing the plans.
Once where the Rennick Riverfront Park is located, the city had an unsightly, smelly dump. Sometimes burning tires blackened the downtown area. That has been replaced with an attractive park area, boat ramps, riverfront trail, ample parking and a venue for many activities. Once there was disgust for that area. Now there is pride and much enjoyment.
More can be done and we think it will happen!