The City of Revelstoke bargained CP Rail down to a maximum of $10,000 for the removal of the two railway crossing towers at the Victoria Road and Fourth Street intersection.
As reported by the Times Review in August, CP Rail wanted $14,000 from the city, half the cost of removing the two large crossing signal towers, but city council balked and asked for a better deal. Railway regulations say the railway company must do the work, and there is a ‘blue-book’ that sets rates.
CP Rail determined the signal towers were no longer necessary because trains rarely cross the intersection, which is part of an unused line that went to the Downie Street sawmill. From now on, rail crews will do traffic control manually when they have to back trains across the road to switch tracks.
They came down on Monday, Oct. 21 where a total of at least 10 workers, traffic control personnel and others wearing hardhats took down the towers. At Revelstoke City Council’s Oct. 22 meeting, CAO Tim Palmer said city staff had negotiated the “maximum” cost of $10,000 to the city.
The traffic control towers are headed to the museum at the Three Valley Gap resort.
A city engineering report said removing the towers would be a safety bonus because they create visual clutter and possibly driver confusion at the already challenging and dangerous intersection.
Their removal is likely a necessary part of near-term plans to improve the intersection. One preliminary plan calls for two large roundabouts, one each at Victoria Road and Townley Street.