Colfax RR crossings removed, paved over


October 10, 2019

A crew consisting of men from Washington State Department of Transportation, the City of Colfax and the railroad begin work to remove the rail cross on West Cooper Street.

Removal of five more railroad crossings on the former Union Pacific line is now underway in Colfax. Public Works Director Matt Hammer reported to the city council a joint crew Monday removed the crossings on East Cooper and East Street.

Work was slated to begin Tuesday on the West Cooper crossing, and the crews hope to remove the crossings at Island and Last streets on the west side of main.

Rails at the crossings will be gone and a State Department of Transportation crew will fill and pave over the crossings.

The work follows earlier removal and paving of the crossing on west Wall Street. Traffic at that crossing, just west of the Wall Street bridge, had deteriorated the railroad timbers which made up the crossing.

Removal of five more crossing will leave unconnected segments of the former rail line, which is now part of the state system, south of Last Street.

Hammer reported as of this week, he has not heard of any immediate plan to pull the remaining rail segments on the right-of-way which has been proposed for an alternative route for bicycle riders and pedestrians to link the south end of town with the downtown area.

The railroad link to Pullman has been closed since the 2006 Risbeck fire destroyed one of the trestles across the South Fork of the Palouse River, east of Colfax.

The unused railroad segment also includes a bridge across Spring Flat Creek just before it flows into the South Fork just past the West Cooper crossing.


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