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BNSF contributes funds to Washington city's waterfront grade-crossing study

BNSF Railway Co. will contribute $50,000 to help study potential solutions to ease congestion at railroad crossings along the waterfront in Edmonds, Wash., the city's mayor announced Tuesday.

The BNSF contribution follows the Washington State Legislature's recent approval of $500,000 for Edmonds to complete an alternatives analysis that would determine the best approach to resolve at-grade conflicts, said Mayor Dave Earling.

The city is committing a $100,000 match toward the work, while the Port of Edmonds is committing an additional $25,000, he said.

"We are greatly encouraged by the progress being made to address the problem of increasing train traffic blocking the Edmonds waterfront," Earling said in a prepared statement. "BNSF's announcement shows their strong commitment to helping our community find a solution to this critical public safety issue."

Currently, about 35 trains travel daily across Dayton and Main streets along the city’s waterfront, which creates safety concerns and interrupts traffic to and from the waterfront and the Washington State Ferry Terminal. Further growth in both vehicular and train traffic is expected to add to these safety concerns and delays for services and business along the waterfront, city officials said.

"As communities develop long-term plans, we believe it is critical for all of us to be at the table to help identify solutions that benefit the community and freight mobility," said Andrew Johnsen, BNSF assistant vice president for community affairs.

The alternatives analysis will study a variety of potential projects, including various grade-separation concepts.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/25/2015