Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Vehicles traverse the railroad crossing at 200 North and Highway 70 in Pima. Two railroad crossings in Pima will be updated and refreshed.
By Jon Johnson
PIMA – Two ingress/egresses to the rapidly growing western side of Pima will soon see a couple of rough patches get smoothed over.
Railroad crossings near the intersections of U.S. Highway 70 and 200 North (Tripp Canyon) and Highway 70 and 1200 West (Patterson Mesa) will be receiving facelifts paid entirely by Arizona Eastern Railway (AZER).
At its Tuesday night meeting, the Pima Town Council unanimously passed an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with AZER and the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) regarding rail-highway safety improvements at the aforementioned crossings.
The 200 North (Tripp Canyon) crossing will see the addition of crossing arms that lower when a train passes through and will be widened to the widest point of the current road where it spreads out at the intersection with Highway 70. Pima Town Manager Vernon Batty told the council he had requested the railroad widen the crossing to accommodate future road improvements and widening, but the railroad said it could only go as wide as the current road. However, they also said since the road spreads out at the intersection, it could make the gated crossing as wide as that point.
The entire scope of the railroad’s portion of the work is scheduled to cost $1 million and be paid entirely by the railroad and federal funds. Approaches from the highway to the crossing will be taken care of by ADOT.
The 1200 West (Patterson Mesa) crossing is set to cost $300,000 and will also be paid for by the railroad and federal funds. The two projects are expected to commence construction within the next three months.