The Cleburne City Council said BNSF Railway has not made an offer worth closing existing street crossings.
The City Council agreed that they would prefer not to close any of the current streets that cross over railroad tracks in the city with BNSF’s current offer but may consider the potential closing of the Chambers Street crossing if the railway company presented an offer that better compensates the community for the impact a crossing closure may have on the community. The discussion occurred at the May 26 City Council meeting.
“We’re not inclined to close our crossings because of the impact that may have on future growth and development,” Mayor Scott Cain said. “But if BNSF comes to the table with an offer that helps fund improvement to our roads while ensuring future growth and development in exchange for closing one crossing that does not create issues for our community or Fire Department, we would certainly consider the offer.
BNSF Railway informed the City it plans to construct an additional track to the existing corridor in the next year. The company would like to reduce the number of crossings in Cleburne and offered financial and infrastructure incentives if the City would agree to close up to three crossings: East Chambers, East Wardville, and Hines Road. For the closings, the company offered financial incentives of $157,500 for closing one street, $415,000 for closing two, and up to &772,500 and a traffic signal for closing all three.
The City of Cleburne has no current plans to close any crossings but discussions with BNSF may continue if the company decides to provide a new offer.
In addition to the closures discussion, BNSF did notify city staff the expansion construction will require the City to relocate its utilities in the railway’s right-of-way. City staff has identified 10 utility conflicts within BNSF’s property that it will have to relocate before the railway company can begin adding the new track. The track project may also impact traffic flow at several street crossings during construction including those at West Vaughn Road, East Kilpatrick Street, East Willingham Street, East Wardville Street, East Chambers Street, East Second Street/FM 4, and Hines Road.
Watch the discussion, which occurs have an agenda item regarding the Market Square Concert Series