As more people start to use a parking lot that ends on Hepburn Street to access the Susquehanna River Walk, one that requires crossing railroad tracks to access, public safety has become a growing concern for city officials.
On Thursday night, City Council approved a resolution that set the ball in motion to get upgrades at the railroad crossing, such as an electronic gate, at the site near one of the city's flood levee pump stations.
John Grado, city engineer and director of community and economic development, said Friday that the city is working with the state Department of Transportation, the Public Utility Commission and SEDA-Council of Governments Joint Rail Authority on the project.
"There have been ongoing safety issues brought up to city officials as people drive into the parking area to access the River Walk, Grado said. "The authority owns the rail line and the operator of the rail line is Lycoming County Railroad."
When asked who would pay for the gate, Grado said: "That's to be determined, but the resolution calls for no commitment of funds from the city." PennDOT would determine the gate design to improve the crossing and open space adjacent to the River Walk, he said.
The resolution went before council Thursday night to authorize PennDOT to request railroad crossing upgrades from the PUC, Grado said.
Hepburn Street is a public street and the railway maintains the crossing over the street, which is why the city is involved, he added.