Letter: Cable Road study requires real imagination this time

A recent front-page story Jan. 27 was on funding for a “railroad crossing study” involving Cable Road. The article reported that a typical study would look at several options — a no-build option, a grade separation (overpass or underpass) and, to quote public works director Kirk Niemeyer, “every possibility that you can come up with within a geographical area.” Unfortunately, too many studies such as this seem to go for naught, with the no-build option often coming as the result.

The June 2, 1969, edition of The Lima News had a magnificent article, “Belt highway path perused.” Needless to say, a circular bypass of Lima, with interchanges at critical points, never came to be. Neither did a “leafy limited inner loop” that was described in a similarly grand article on Sept. 30, 1974, which would have featured a well-conceived connection between Jameson Avenue and Collett Street.

I find it difficult to believe a grade separation at Cable Road has not been previously studied, with the obvious result being there isn’t enough distance between Elida Road and the railroad to construct a grade separation that meets engineering design standards such as gradient.

I suggest readers take a look at what was done in Central Nebraska, where U.S. 30 and the busy main line of the Union Pacific Railroad run side by side. At the towns of Elm Creek, Overton and Brady, new roadway alignments were built to simultaneously overpass the railroad and U.S. 30 before looping back to meet the federal highway. In my estimation, the only solution to our Cable Road problem would require creativity such as this.

Michael G. Buettner



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