Improvements to the 9th Street BNSF rail crossing in Wenatchee are finally moving forward after years of litigation. 

Federal funding for the improvements to the crossing east of Wenatchee Avenue was awarded in 2018, but the project stalled after BNSF objected to maintenance responsibilities. 

City Engineer Jake Lewing says the city prevailed in federal court. 

"The result is, really the maintenance responsibilities were found to be within BNSF maintaining their equipment and us maintaining the road and sidewalks, so it's within state and federal law," said Lewing. 

The city council has now authorized a construction and maintenance agreement with BNSF. 

Lewing says the court decision worked well for the city.  

"It was good for us," Lewing said. "It was good to finally get it behind us. So, now we're trying to advance this and get it done for the existing condition and this is some much-needed improvement for this crossing." 

The project includes concrete walkways over the 9th Street tracks along with new railroad signal crossing gates that'll include pedestrian gates. 

BNSF will begin its portion of the improvements this fall. 

BNSF will build all signal and gate improvements and concrete panels adjacent to their rails. The city will construct all other improvements with the $1.3 million in federal funding it was awarded in January of 2018 through WSDOT’s Railway/Highway Crossing Program. 

The goal of the project is to improve safety for the railroad crossing at 9th Street for vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians by clearly defining their crossing routes. 

The city will construct concrete walkways over the tracks and connections to existing sidewalks where applicable. Curb ramps will also be installed. In addition, signage and pavement markings will be improved. 

The City’s portion of the improvements will be constructed in Summer/Fall of next year. 

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