A city report on solving the problem of railway crossings in Saskatoon is recommending more investigation into moving rail lines outside city limits.
The authors are also suggesting abandoning the pursuit of building overpasses and underpasses at rail crossings, citing “prohibitive” costs.
“From a purely monetary point of view, neither option proves viable at this time,” a city news release wrote.
“However, the proposed options do provide intangible benefits that are difficult to quantify including improved emergency response times, access to community facilities and services, and neighbourhood aesthetics and cohesiveness.”
Jay Magus, the city’s acting director of transportation, told reporters at a news conference Wednesday afternoon digging tunnels or building overpasses in areas such as 22nd Street would be highly disruptive to homeowners and businesses, leading to the recommendation to not pursue the option any further.
The official also estimated the cost of moving Canadian Pacific’s mainline outside city limits at $590 million.
While the report isn’t recommending immediate action on either option, there are some short-term technological solutions being offered.
Among them are warning systems for emergency crews when a train is about to come through the city, which crossings it will block and an estimate of how long it would take.
Signs on freeways indicating the same information to drivers are also considered.
City council’s transportation committee will consider the study at their March 12 meeting.
— With files from 650 CKOM’s Jay Thomas.