Fort Worth, Texas (Jan. 7, 2014) The city of Aledo, Texas, has nearly doubled in size since 2000. Overall, the growth has been positive for the city, boosting business, real estate and jobs. But the growth also has caused increased traffic at a rail crossing located in the heart of downtown Aledo, which became a safety concern for Union Pacific, county, and city officials.
As a result, the two entities teamed with CTC Inc,. a rail communications and signaling engineering firm, to re-design the flow of vehicle and pedestrian traffic in the area. To increase mobility, the team will transform two, two-way crossings into two, one-way crossings, creating a one-way roundabout.
The Aledo Trail project is a relocation of the railroad crossing at Chestnut to north of the primary FM 1187 railroad crossing. A new two-lane road will extend from Elm Street across the relocated railroad crossing, tying to FM 1187 at Maverick Street, and will function as a one-way, southbound corridor. The existing two-lane FM 1187 between Maverick and Elm Streets will be reconstructed as a one-way, northbound corridor. To restrict foot traffic only to designated crossings, the project also will include installing fencing and pedestrian signals along the rail line, significantly improving pedestrian safety.
“Partnering with UP has been positive,” said Kit Marshall, mayor of Aledo. “This project not only increases public safety substantially but also improves mobility for our residents. We’re excited about this collaborative effort because the project will have positive outcomes for all parties.”
Steve Martchenke, manager of special projects in Union Pacific’s Engineering Department who spearheaded the project for the railroad, agrees the project was a win-win situation. “At a crossing like Aledo’s, where traffic can become congested when a train passes, people are more likely to act without thinking and attempt to beat the train,” said Martchenke. “By transforming the crossings into one-ways, traffic moves much faster. There is no way for a driver to maneuver around the crossing arms, eliminating the risk for potentially devastating accidents.”
To express the city’s appreciation of UPRR’s involvement in the re-design, Mayor Kit Marshall presented Martchenke and members of the UP team with an official thank you proclamation from the city.
The project is underway and is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2014.
CTC, Inc., provides communication and signaling systems, products and services for the rail industry, specializing in highway-rail grade crossings that are interconnected with traffic signals. The company has delivered signal engineering and solutions for some of North America’s most complex highway–rail grade crossing intersections. In addition to preemption design, review and remediation, CTC also offers rail signal engineering and design, turnkey signal construction, quiet-zone implementation, forensic reconstruction of signal system operations and patented signal products for grade crossings interconnected with highway traffic signals. www.ctcinc.com.