Monday morning the Des Moines city council listened to the concerns of some east side residents about a proposal to close three east side streets where they cross the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.
“It’s not funny. I feel railroaded. If feel all these meetings meant nothing to anyone,” says Cindy Raymond of Des Moines.
The railroad presented its plan to the council during Monday’s workshop meeting.
The company wants to shut down Hull Avenue, East 34th and East 36th streets where they cross the tracks.
Union Pacific wants to expand its rail yard and make upgrades for trains coming in and out of the area. They hope this will reduce train delays in the area by as much as 30-percent.
Council members questioned Union Pacific on whether the small decrease in delay is worth the cost to the neighborhood.
“The federal government says that in order for interstate transportation to proceed the railroads have to be able to conduct business. And we cannot get into the yard any faster than that. What we’re proposing will allow us to get into the yard as quickly as possible. So what we are proposing is the best that we can do,” says Brenda Mainwaring with Union Pacific Railroad.
Union Pacific hopes its offer to make roadway enhancements along other roads in the area will gain enough support for the project to move forward.