Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Railroad to add sidetrack with relatively little disruption, according to plans and illustrations

Construction of the sidetrack for the RJ Corman Railroad excursion train from Lexington to Midway will require removal and reconstruction of the short stone walls and their concrete steps along Main Street, but not the long fence on the south side of Main near Gratz Street, according to diagrams and photo illustrations unveiled by the railroad and its engineering firm at a special City Council meeting last night.

This set of photo illustrations, on display at City Hall, shows how the tracks and the adjacent area are supposed to look when construction is completed. (Click on image to view larger version; for a 16MB version, click here.) Mayor Tom Bozarth said today that the city will pay the cost of moving the walls and reconfiguring some parking spaces, and hopes to seek bids for the work in early November. He said the city has an engineers' estimate and "We have money available."

The major traffic change will be on West Main Street, which will be made one-way westbound, with on-street parking, to make room for the western end of the project. At the eastern end, some landscaping will have to be replaced. The railroad owns the right of way, and regulations require an eight-foot clear zone on either side of the tracks. The walls to be moved are only partially inside the "clear zone" so will not have to be moved far, according to the diagram on display at City Hall. For a PDF of a construction diagram, click here.

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