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Last updated: May 20. 2014 4:39PM - 1230 Views
By Pat Pratt ppratt@civitasmedia.com



Union Pacific Railroad employees work on a section of rail between Dresden and La Monte Tuesday morning. The railroad is replacing ties creating railroad crossing closures, moving west through Pettis and Johnson Counties. Jeremy Branch, of Lebanon and assistant foreman with Union Pacific, said that the rail workers are pulling out ties and flipping them over in preparation for the rail lift following behind.
Union Pacific Railroad employees work on a section of rail between Dresden and La Monte Tuesday morning. The railroad is replacing ties creating railroad crossing closures, moving west through Pettis and Johnson Counties. Jeremy Branch, of Lebanon and assistant foreman with Union Pacific, said that the rail workers are pulling out ties and flipping them over in preparation for the rail lift following behind.
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Union Pacific Railroad will complete infrastructure projects totaling $9 million in the rail line between Sedalia and Pleasant Hill. The work began May 15 and is slated for completion at the end of June.


“What they are doing is replacing the railroad ties between, basically, Sedalia and Pleasant Hill,” said Union Pacific spokesperson Mark Davis. “It’s more than 60,000 ties and they also install some rock ballast, more than 22,000 tons. They will also renew the surfaces at more than 80 crossings along that line.”


Workers will also install more than one mile of rail at various curves.


The project is funded entirely by Union Pacific without taxpayer dollars, according to a company press release. Company officials say while the work should not cause and major detours or delays, motorists should be aware the improvements are taking place.


“They will work with the individual road authorities in closing those roads and they will give a couple days’ notice before closing the roads,” Davis said. “If it’s a two-lane road sometimes they can do it in a day, if its four lanes or more it may be a day and a half or two days.”


The company says the project is one of nearly 1,500 that Union Pacific will complete across its 32,000-mile network this year to help improve train operating efficiency, reduce motorist wait times at crossings and enhance safety.


“Union Pacific helps businesses connect with consumers, suppliers and markets across the nation and around the world,” said Donna Kush, Union Pacific vice president - Public Affairs, Northern Region. “In addition to helping move our customers’ goods safely and efficiently, our investments support communities by reducing traffic congestion, facilitating industrial development and promoting economic expansion.”


The company says improved and additional freight rail capacity helps reduce highway congestion and contributes to a cleaner environment. They add that one Union Pacific train can take up to 300 trucks off America’s roads, and Union Pacific can move one ton of freight nearly 500 miles on a single gallon of diesel fuel.


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