City Council to examine overpass feasability

The possibility of building an overpass over the railroad tracks in Blackfoot will be addressed by Butler Engineering of Shelley at Tuesday's Blackfoot City Council Meeting. Talk of the city building an overpass (or an underpass) to help alleviate the train crossing problem has recently been revived by some concerned residents, many of whom are fed up with being delayed at the crossings by the stopped trains.
In January, Blackfoot School District secured a verbal agreement with Union Pacific Railroad officials that the train crossings on Blackfoot's Judicial and Bridge streets would be kept clear from 8-8:30 a.m. However, many residents are saying that this agreement has been "short-lived."
Shawrianna Wolfley said she recently waited nearly 15 minutes at the end of Rich Lane in Blackfoot for the train to move during the 8-8:30 a.m. time period.
"My children did not have school that morning; but I will tell you, that if I had sent them to the bus stop and found out that they had to wait 12-20 minutes in the cold and were now late for school, I would have come unglued. Something needs to be done," Wolfley said.
Blackfoot resident Jim Patrick, who lives east of town, addressed the council last month about the prospect of building an overpass, contending that "everyone is inconvenienced by waiting for the trains and that it has become a serious safety issue."
"My fear is that someday there will be a life-threatening emergency and first responders will not be able to get through, potentially costing lives," he said.
Tuesday's city council meeting will be in the Blackfoot City Hall Chambers (157 N. Broadway) at 7 p.m. The meeting is open to the public. For more information call 785-8600.