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Rail commissioner orders crossing repairs

Burlington Northern-Santa Fe, Soo Line and Union Pacific railroad companies have until the end of June to repair the tracks at Catlin Avenue and North Eighth Street.

Burlington Northern-Santa Fe, Soo Line and Union Pacific railroad companies have until the end of June to repair the tracks at Catlin Avenue and North Eighth Street.

Wisconsin Commissioner of Railroads Rodney Kreunen handed down the decision after a public hearing in January.

City officials sought the hearing after railroad officials failed to respond after the city issued a request to repair the crossing.

"Taken as a whole, the ride over the tracks on this stretch of roadway is very rough, Kreunen wrote in his decision April 19.

Craig Rasmussen, manager of public projects for Burlington Northern-Santa Fe, said in January the company has it in its work plan to make the repairs in June. Union Pacific officials were unable to attend the hearing.

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Kreunen noted in his decision that even after the repairs are made, the ride over the crossing may not be ideal because the tracks curve to the north and south just beyond the rail and road intersection.

While Soo Line officials contested the need to repair its tracks at the Catlin crossing, which was last rebuilt in 1997, the order requires Soo Line to make repairs to improve the ride at the crossing.

Part of the problem is the uneven grade between the tracks owned by all three railroads.

"While the Soo Line crossing is not in as bad condition as the other two crossings, it does require significant repair," Kreunen ruled.

The street will have to be closed to make repairs to the crossings along the Eighth Street Corridor, which has been ordered to be complete by June 30.

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