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BNSF, Kansas City Terminal Railroad plan second area flyover bridge


Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Kansas City Terminal Railway (KCT) Feb. 15 announced plans to build a second major flyover bridge in the Kansas City area to streamline train traffic through the nation’s second busiest rail center.
The $60 million Argentine Connection, which would include two grade separations on BNSF routes that intersect near the Missouri and Kansas state line termed Santa Fe Junction, would be built as a collaborative effort between BNSF, KCT, the state of Missouri and unified government of Kansas City.
BNSF daily averages 80 trains through Santa Fe Junction, with east-west trains carrying some of the nation’s highest-priority intermodal traffic for consumers and retailers on the Class I’s Transcon route between Chicago and Southern California.
KCT, owned by railroads operating in Kansas City, operates a large portion of the railroad trackage in the central Kansas City area.
The two-mile Argentine Connection would elevate BNSF’s east-west Transcon route over the north-south Fort Scott subdivision route at Santa Fe Junction, eliminating at-grade train conflicts.
"Improved rail traffic flows through this area will not only enhance Kansas City’s position as one of the nation’s most important freight transportation centers, it will also improve the ability of BNSF and other railroads to provide more traffic congestion relief for the area’s highways," said BNSF Vice President of Transportation Dave Dealy in a prepared statement.
To fund the project, the collaborating parties formed a partnership similar to the one used to finance the Sheffield Flyover, Kansas City's largest flyover that opened in July 2000. Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission and KCT formed a special Missouri transportation corporation, the Westside Intermodal Transportation Corp., to issue industrial revenue bonds for the project's Missouri.
Industrial revenue bonds issued by the unified government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan. will finance the portion of the project in Kansas. KCT would be responsible for making all revenue-bond payments and retiring the issue in full within 20 years.
Construction on the Argentine Connection is expected to start in April and conclude in 2004.

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More News from 2/15/2002