1A Railroad builds new crossing; traffic to be rerouted

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

A section of North Broadway, several blocks north of downtown, will be closed next week, tripping up the commute for thousands.

The road will be closed to traffic between Civic Center Drive and Fifth Street from 8 a.m. Monday through Friday, as Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad crews will be building a new railroad crossing.

More than 20,000 vehicles a day use that stretch of road, according to 2008 traffic counts from the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Broadway will be open south of Seventh Street only to provide access to local businesses.


The detour will be west on Civic Center Drive to Fourth Avenue Northwest, to Seventh Street Northwest and back to Broadway.

A special DM&E train unloaded 1,600-foot sections of continuous-welded rail in late May throughout the city. That rail is now being installed at the crossings.

The continuous-welded rail has no junctures, which makes for less noise, less vibration and improved safety, and allows trains to travel 30 mph.

The crossings are part of a 30-mile stretch, starting about a mile east of Rochester and running west to Claremont in Dodge County, that will be laid this year, said DM&E, now owned by Canadian Pacific Railroad.

DM&E has spent heavily on rail replacement during the past five years and the project through Rochester is part of Canadian Pacific’s pledge to invest at least $300 million upgrading the DM&E line during its first five years of ownership.

DM&E is trying to accommodate the city’s plans for Rochesterfest and the Fourth of July by accelerating plans to replace certain crossings near the community celebrations.

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