Columbus prepares for increase in train traffic

Columbus officials are taking steps to prepare for, and deal with, a massive increase in train traffic coming through the city, possibly by the end of the year. Early indications are that traffic will increase from two trains per day, to 17.

To help the city determine it’s options, the Redevelopment Commission held a special meeting Wednesday and approved the funding of a Railroad Impact Study. The Redevelopment Commission approved American Structurepoint, of Indianapolis, as the consultant, with funding not to exceed $125,000. Heather Pope, the city’s Redevelopment Director, explains that the consultant will determine what the increased traffic will do to the area’s economy. She adds that the study will also include a time-study to compare the delays caused by current traffic, as well as what is expected with the increased train traffic. Pope went on to say that American Structurepoint will also provide possible remedies to the problem, some of which, could be very expensive. Pope noted that public safety is of the utmost importance, but added that the economics of limited funds means that the city will have to come up with a solution that adequately addresses safety, as well as economic concerns.

Noting the importance of the project and the need for it to be completed quickly, Pope says that the Redevelopment Commission has given the consultant “an aggressive timeline” for the project’s completion. She says that she is hopeful that a presentation will be made to the city by sometime in September. The important thing, Pope noted, is for the project to be finished quickly and correctly.