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Superior, Union Pacific agree on crossing repairs

The city petitioned OCR to review the case in November.

Railroad crossing on East Fifth Street at Hill Avenue
Union Pacific Railroad agrees to repair three railroad crossings in Superior including this one on East Fifth Street near Hill Avenue.
Contributed / City of Superior
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SUPERIOR — Union Pacific Railroad and the city of Superior have reached an agreement for the repair of three railroad crossings in the city.

During a public hearing Thursday, Feb. 10, held by the Office of the Commissioner of Railroads, the city’s assistant public works director, Chris Carlson, said the city found Union Pacific’s plans to repair the crossing on East Fifth Street near Hill Avenue by May 31 acceptable.

The city's public works committee added to the list of at-grade rail crossings in need of a fix.

The city petitioned OCR to review the case in November after the city council adopted a resolution to compel the repair in September.

Sean Collier, a technical leader in rail industry public projects with Olsson, an engineering firm in Denver, Colorado, represented the railroad during the hearing. He said the Union Pacific track manager in the area is working on getting the supplies for the repair on East Fifth Street and has been notified of additional crossing repairs identified by the city.

The council adopted resolutions Dec. 21 to compel Union Pacific to repair the crossing on Catlin Avenue north of Winter Street, and on Winter Street east of Catlin Avenue.

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Collier said the railroad would prefer to work directly with the city to repair those crossings, rather than have the case go through the state agency.

“You guys can try to work that out,” said David Albino, OCR administrative law judge.

It’s always better when the railroad and municipality work together, because the railroad would end up making the repairs anyway, Albino said.

Shelley Nelson is a reporter with the Duluth Media Group since 1997, and has covered Superior and Douglas County communities and government for the Duluth News Tribune from 1999 to 2006, and the Superior Telegram since 2006. Contact her at 715-395-5022 or snelson@superiortelegram.com.
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As reported by Douglas County Circuit Court.