Eastern Idaho Railroad helps Thornton project

Hats off to the Eastern Idaho Railroad for letting Rocky Mountain Power run its power line along its right of way instead of making the power company reroute its line through Thornton. This concession enabled the Thornton Interchange project to proceed on schedule and saved ITD approximately $350,000.

Rocky Mountain Power officials didn’t think the railroad company would allow the power company to run their line along the railroad tracks, but Transportation Staff Engineer Assistant Ryan Day of District 6 (pictured below) said the railroad company may allow it. He called Scott Adams and the team of Eastern Idaho Railroad, who granted the desired easement.

Eastern Idaho Railroad’s only stipulation was that Rocky Mountain Power purchase liability insurance for construction, obtain easements, and coordinate its power-pole installation to avoid conflicts with train service. Eastern Idaho Railroad is a short line railroad company owned by Watco Companies LLC, based in Pittsburg, Kansas.

In preparation for constructing the Thornton Interchange, ITD planned to pay two-thirds of the $1.3 million cost of rerouting the power line. With the railroad company’s concession, the cost of moving the line was cut to $800,000, of which ITD’s share was $415,000.

Ryan’s involvement and quick thinking, coupled with the railroad company’s accommodation, saved the day. Ryan is District 6’s TSEA assigned to work with railroad companies on railroad-crossing improvements. He has frequently worked with Adams and other railroad company officials on matters involving the railroad.

“This story illustrates the benefits of stakeholder involvement and of good business relationships,” says ITD Chief Engineer Kimbol Allen. “A big thanks to Ryan and to the railroad. It is one more example of ITD and railroad companies working together to further state-local teamwork and to improve project results.”


Published 03-11-16