Over 11,000 vehicles a day travel along Broadwell Avenue and cross Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) tracks north of 3rd Street, with traffic anticipated to increase. The City of Grand Island is working to accommodate this by completing a Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study to evaluate options for a crossing at or near the existing Broadwell Avenue crossing north of 3rd Street.
Broadwell Avenue is a north-south arterial roadway that serves as a principle connection between the north and south portions of the City.
The purpose of this Study is to determine the need for improvements to improve safety and congestion at the Broadwell Avenue at-grade railroad crossing north of 3rd Street, evaluate impacts of potential alternatives and identify a locally recommended alternative for the Broadwell Avenue/UPRR crossing.
Currently there are two mainline tracks at the Broadwell Avenue crossing, which carry over 90 trains per day. These tracks are part of the Union Pacific Railroad’s primary rail system for transporting coal between Wyoming and the eastern portion of the country. In addition to coal trains, these tracks serve as part of the main corridor for moving freight between the west and east coasts. It is anticipated that train traffic along this corridor will continue to grow, creating additional delays and safety concerns at existing at-grade crossings. Additionally, this Study is a necessary step as the City seeks to secure federal funding assistance through the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT).
There will be multiple input opportunities for the public throughout the Study process, the first of which is a public meeting scheduled for Thursday, March 5, 2020, from 4:00 – 6:30 PM at the Grand Island Public Library, 1124 W 2nd St, Grand Island, NE 68801. There will be no formal presentation.
The public meeting is being held to introduce the project and receive the public’s input. All interested persons are invited to attend, provide comments and ask questions. Study information will be displayed, and personnel from the City will be present to answer questions and receive comments. La información del estudio estará disponible en español.
For those unable to attend the in-person meeting, all materials will be hosted on an online meeting from March 5, 2020 through March 20, 2020. Check back later to view the online meeting.
City representatives will be present to answer questions and receive comments.
Individuals requiring physical or sensory accommodations including interpreter service, hearing impaired devices, large print, or recorded materials are asked to contact the City of Grand Island, 100 East First Street, Grand Island, NE, (308) 389-0140, at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting so City staff can make the meeting accessible to any and all citizens of the community.
PEL studies represent a collaborative and integrated approach to transportation decision-making that 1) considers environmental, community and economic goals early in the transportation process, and 2) uses the information, analysis and products developed during planning to inform the review process.1 This Study will use PEL principles to provide a smooth transition to future phases of this Study.
Initial steps will include traffic, safety and environmental evaluations. Traffic and safety data that will be collected and analyzed includes current and projected traffic volumes, crash data and pavement condition. Environmental evaluations will assess impacts to floodways, floodplains, wetlands, conservation land, threatened and endangered species, historic resources, as well as other impacts.
Based on data collected, the City will then develop preliminary alternatives, in addition to considering the impacts of a no-build alternative. Each evaluation will be developed and screened rigorously with cost, traffic, safety and environmental impacts in mind. The City will also consider and incorporate feedback from the public throughout this process to help refine alternatives. Based on these factors, a locally recommended alternative will be selected at the conclusion of this Study.
Thank you for your interest in the Study. Comments or questions related to this Study should be submitted by filling out the form below.
Tim Golka, P.E., City of Grand Island
100 East First Street, Grand Island, NE 68801
1 “Planning and Environmental Linkages”. Federal Highway Administration, https://www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/env_initiatives/PEL.aspx