SF Railroad Project Gaining Momentum
by Ashley Kringen, Reporter
January 31, 2013 9:15 PM
The city of Sioux Falls has reached a compromise on the railroad relocation project and now they're inching closer towards buying land that will be the new home for a section of track.
City leaders said the move would make room for economic development in the downtown area.
Once called the "Railroad Relocation Project," is now called the "Rail Yard Redevelopment Project."
"We're no longer relocating a yard. We're essentially identifying that land for redevlopment," said Cotter.
Director of Public Works, Mark Cotter, said the original idea for this project is more than 20-years-old.
In 2005, Congress allocated money for the project, setting the stage for proposals and phases, trying to reach the best outcome.
"Something this large, to actually remove it, a railroad that's been in place for over 100 years certainly takes a lot of time, a lot of alternatives. We've had a number of public meetings," said Cotter.
The alternative includes building two 3,000-foot long tracks out by Rice Street and Timberline.
In downtown Sioux Falls, the western set of tracks will be removed for economic development, while the east tracks will continue to operate.
"It's a win, win, win," said TenNaple.
Harlan TenNaple, a 35-year-Sioux Falls resident, said he can't wait to see what the city will do with the 9 1/2 acres that will be available once this project is finalized
"I think it just opens the door for a lot of commercial, residential, you're going to see faces of the landscape change a lot," said TenNaple.
After years and years of environmental studies and exploring different options, the Rail Yard Redevelopment Project is gaining momentum.
The next public meeting will be held in May and the city hopes to buy the land in December.