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Changes Should Help Drivers Navigate Arlington Railroad Project

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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Delays and changes could ease headaches for drivers trying to maneuver through a major Arlington railway construction project.

Originally Union Pacific Railroad was to begin the UP Rail Renewal project today, January 16, but the start date has been pushed back to January 17.

The simultaneous closing of railroad crossings across the city was a major concern. Residents let city officials know their stand during a public meeting held Monday. Leaders listened and responded by delaying some of the repairs/updates at the Bowen Road crossing, thus changing the length of time it would be closed from days, to just hours.

UP will replace the track at the Bowen crossing at a later date, so it will only be closed once for between four and six hours. On the city website, Keith Melton, the Director of Public Works and Transportation, said, “They [Union Pacific] were willing to do what they could to help minimize the impact of this project, so they’ve come up with an alternative to keep Bowen Road open, except for that short period of time.”

The remainder of the crossings will proceed as scheduled and will remain closed 24 hours a day during the project.

The City of Arlington is offering some online assistance to help drivers plan their routes. Twenty-seven have been installed and are providing views of conditions and repair progress. Arlington spokeswoman Rebecca Rodriguez said the cameras don’t stream live video, but the shots are refreshed every five minutes.

Wednesday there were some complaints about traffic congestion at crossings, but that is due to heavy equipment being moved in preparation to begin the project. The city has also made provisions for emergency services and will have vehicles stationed on both sides of the Union Pacific tracks.

City leaders suggest that drivers plan on using roads that go over or under the railroad tracks — not across them. Some alternate routes would include Highways 360 and 161.

Rodriguez said the project would evolve as it proceeds and, “Some of the details may cause us to have to change the facts as we know it.” As it stands, the UP Rail Renewal project is scheduled take eight days and wrap up by January 24.

See the schedule of railroad crossings closings below. Click here to view the railroad crossing cameras.

Crossing                                 Close & Open Dates*
PVT Road (Howell Farm)       Scheduled to be closed Jan. 16-20
Bowen Road                              Scheduled to close January 17 for four hours
Davis Street                               Scheduled to be closed January 17-21**
Cooper Street                            Scheduled to be closed January 18-22
N. Center Street                        Scheduled to be closed January 18-22
Mesquite Street                        Scheduled to be closed January 18-22
Collins Street                             Scheduled to be closed January 19-23
Stadium Drive East                  Scheduled to be closed January 19-23
Great Southwest Parkway      Scheduled to be closed January 21-February 3

*Dates are subject to change
**Crews will work to open Davis prior to the closure of Collins and Stadium

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