Lincoln Ave. crossing reopens with temporary asphalt crossing pads

The BNSF Railway crossing at Lincoln Avenue has reopened on a temporary basis.

The project includes replacing Lincoln Ave with new concrete paving from approximately 130 feet south of the BNSF up to the tracks, then from north of the tracks up to just south of First Street. New concrete crossing pads are being placed by the BNSF as part of the project.  

Work started and the crossing was closed in March to allow the BNSF time to get the new concrete crossing pads. The City’s contractor, Werner Construction, Inc. of Hastings completed street paving work in April leaving a gap of 30 feet at the track crossing to allow for the BNSF to do its work of placing new concrete crossing pads.  

The BNSF needs to get the new concrete crossing pads placed before Werner Construction can remove and re-pave the 30 feet of new concrete on each side of the tracks. Rather than leave the tracks closed for longer, city staff & Werner Construction scheduled temporary asphalt so the crossing could be opened.  

Werner opened the crossing on Wednesday, June 26 after placing temporary asphalt between the new concrete and old roadway.

The temporary asphalt will remain in place until the BNSF has new concrete crossing pads placed. Then Werner Construction will move back onto the project to complete the 30-foot gaps on either side of the tracks.  

The City of Hastings is hopeful BNSF will complete the installation of the new concrete crossing pads this fall, so the temporary asphalt can be replaced and new concrete street built up to the tracks and have a smoother and permanent crossing with the tracks.

The Lincoln Avenue crossing is the third of seven BNSF crossings to be addressed in the quiet crossing project, which is among projects funded by the City’s half cent sales that was approved by 81.55% of voters in September 2017.

Quiet Zone work on the Hastings Avenue and Pine Avenue crossings was completed in 2023 by contractor Ben Engel Construction of Hastings. Those crossings reopened in November 2023.

The quiet crossing work includes new concrete pavement, railroad crossing pads, sidewalk improvements and raised concrete medians near the railroad tracks. The 100-foot concrete medians and 60-foot barrier curbs are safety measures required by the Federal Railroad Administration for quiet zone implementation.

Werner Construction also has the contract for crossings at Denver and California avenues. The contractor was waiting to work on the other two crossings until Lincoln was complete.  

The City of Hastings doesn’t want to close another crossing until BNSF is fully ready, so the crossing doesn’t need to be closed for longer than necessary.

The design work and bidding of Colorado and Elm avenues is scheduled for 2024. Physical work on those two crossings, and overall completion of the quiet zone, is anticipated for 2025.

The quiet zone takes effect only after construction is complete on all the crossings and appropriate paperwork is filed with the FRA for the quiet crossing designation. 

Once the quiet crossings are in effect, BNSF Railway train horns will typically be limited in that area to when something is on the tracks or during switching activity. Amtrak trains will also continue to blow their horns when entering and exiting the Hastings depot.

Published Date: 06/26/2024

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