Avon closer to building RR crossings | VailDaily.com

Avon closer to building RR crossings

Nicole Frey

AVON ” A year-and-a-half after first applying for a couple of ground-level railroad crossings, the town of Avon is one step closer to building them.

The crossings are back on track after a judge denied Union Pacific Rail Road’s appeal. The crossings were previously approved by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, but Union Pacific appealed the commission’s decision after announcing plans to reactivate the previously dormant line. The railroad said it needed to move cars through Avon for storage in Minturn. Because of the possible new activity ” an estimated one train car a week would go through Avon ” Union Pacific said ground-level crossings would be too dangerous. The crossings would connect west Avon to the incoming Riverfront Village, a development of hotel rooms, shops, condos and a gondola to Beaver Creek.

“The purported changes to the railroad activity and any resultant safety considerations were not substantiated in the hearing and the (judge) denied the argument against the crossings,” Avon Town Manager Larry Brooks said.

But Union Pacific could further stall the process for Avon. The railroad has 19 days to appeal the decision and bring Avon back to court. And even if Union Pacific doesn’t appeal, the railroad must approve Avon’s drawings for the crossings.

“We submitted the drawings months ago, complete with the fees to cover the review of the plans for the crossing,” Brooks said.

Avon representatives said they would contact Union Pacific again Tuesday to get an update on their drawings’ status.

“We were ready to move forward and build the crossings a year ago, and we remain ready to proceed,” Brooks said.

Staff Writer Nicole Frey can be reached at 748-2927 or nfrey@vaildaily.com.

Vail, Colorado

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