City of Lincoln  
City of Lincoln
Mayor's Office

Media Release


November 21, 2003

For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Wynn Hjermstad, Urban Development, 441-7606
Roger Figard, Public Works and Utilities, 441-7711


Mayor Coleen J. Seng today officially opened the new railroad overpass at 3rd and “A” streets at a ribbon-cutting ceremony. She was joined by representatives of the Railroad Transportation Safety District (RTSD), the South Salt Creek neighborhood and others involved in the project, which includes other traffic and pedestrian improvements in the area.

“The City has been working to find a solution to the increased rail traffic in this neighborhood since the 1980s,” said Mayor Seng. “With the leadership of the RTSD and the cooperation of residents, we have improved safety, access and the quality of life in this important area of town.”

In 1997, the City and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company (BNSF) began to plan for the addition of a second track along the 3rd Street corridor. (The second track was installed in the last 1990s.) The RTSD initiated the project and worked closely with the City Urban Development and Public Works and Utilities Departments.

“A strong emphasis was placed on public involvement, including a door-to-door survey and a series of public meetings,” said Wynn Hjermstad, Manager of the Community Development Division of the City Urban Development Department. “It was very important to everyone involved with the project that the historic character of the South Salt Creek be maintained and that the project help revitalize this area of the neighborhood.”

The new overpass extends from 1st Street to just west of 5th Street. To minimize the impact to homes on the north side of “A” Street, the new overpass was constructed south of “A” Street. The street now serves as a frontage road for access to homes along the north side.

Other related improvements included:

  • The paving of 3rd Street between “A” and “H” streets;
  • A pedestrian underpass at 3rd and “F” streets;
  • A new bridge over Salt Creek;
  • Improvements to alleys within the neighborhood;
  • New frontage roads along the south side of the overpass to provide access to adjacent businesses and to eliminates commercial traffic through residential areas;
  • New roadways along SW 1st Street, West “B” Street and Garfield Street to provide access into the neighborhood for areas located west of the BNSF 3rd Street tracks; and
  • The removal of the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) tracks along 4th Street, eliminating 14 at-grade track crossings between “A” Street and Saltillo Road and opening up the 4th Street corridor for other uses.

    Remaining work to be completed between now and next spring includes sidewalk construction under the overpass, the relocation of a railroad warning device, removal of the existing 3rd and “A” crossing, final clean-up and seeding and installation of amenities such as benches and a basketball court. There will be temporary lane closures as necessary to complete this work.

    The total project cost is $10.8 million and includes the new overpass, roadways, right-of-way acquisition, utility relocations, costs associated with the 4th Street track removal and landscaping. The RTSD provided the majority of the funding, with additional support from the Federal Highway Administration, the State Department of Roads, BNSF and UPRR.

Mayor's Office 2003 Media Releases