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Healdsburg to Railroad: Please Let Us Use Your Bridge

City leaders to send letter asking for use of the bridge for walkers and bicyclists.

 

Healdsburg will take a new tack in finding an alternative route over the Russian River for bicyclists and walkers during construction next year on the Healdsburg Memorial Bridge.

City Council agreed Monday night to send a letter to the North Coast Rail Authority asking to use the SMART railroad bridge as a "temporary pedestrian detour."

Efforts have been stymied on the issue of using the SMART railroad bridge as a temporary pedestrian and cyclists' detour because the freight operator plans to use the bridge to haul freight.

. Northwestern Pacific Railroad Co, the freight operator, has told the city that it plans to extend the freight rail service to Healdsburg next year.

Healdsburg Public Works Director Mike Kirn said Monday the detour plans hinge on the wishes and flexibility of the freight operator as to whether they would postpone or alter their plans.

Healdsburg City Councilman Shaun McCaffery said the city should prepare an alternative plan in the event the freight operator does not agree to the detour.

"I think we're going to have a tough time getting the railroad to agree," McCaffery said Monday. "I think we should come up with our own solution, using the existing bridge.

"We need to move forward on this," McCaffery said.

said Sonoma County Supervisor Mike McGuire, who organized the meeting. McGuire, who was not present at the City Council meeting Monday, said last week that the meeting he convened did not result in an immediate solution.

McGuire had invited to attend the "collaborative" meeting in hopes that the NCRA would be able to mediate an agreement with the city, county and freight operator on a detour plan.

But according to the Press Democrat, Stogner said the NCRA would not overrule the freight operator on the issue. Stogner was not present for Monday night's City Council meeting, but the newspaper interviewed him by phone earlier.

To read the article, click here.

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Christian Kallen December 19, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Let's find out the name of the bozo(s) at Northwestern Pacific who is responsible for this stonewall, and sent him petitions, emails, etc.
Lawrence Labranche December 19, 2012 at 01:30 AM
The PUC opposes this and STB is unlikely to approve this.
D December 19, 2012 at 04:03 AM
You are a bozo.
Tom December 19, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Sometimes you have to make sacrifices in order to improve public safety. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Putting pressure on public figures to get the new bridge fixed quickly would be a better use of resources rather than filing petitiions and general whining.
MICHAEL WILSON "Republican Kid" December 19, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Christian Is this an insurance issue?

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