Friday, August 29, 2008

County & Eloy Applaud Commissioners on Rail Crossing Decision

By Heather Murphy

FLORENCE, AZ – Pinal County officials and the City of Eloy commended the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) for today's approval of Union Pacific's application to add a second main line and modify public road crossings in the county.  The ACC's action allows Union Pacific to move forward with their double track project of the Sunset Route, Union Pacific's east-west main rail line through Southern Arizona. 


The application included public crossings on Toltec Road, Houser Road, Battaglia Road, Eleven Mile Corner Road, Main Street and Sunshine Boulevard.  The Commissioners approved the placement of the additional track with upgrades to safety and signal devices to ensure the safety of motorists.


"I am glad to see the process move forward and thank the Commissioners for requesting that Union Pacific first seek local support on their project," said Byron Jackson, Mayor of Eloy.  "The City of Eloy will continue to work with Union Pacific representatives to address local concerns and issues during this project."


An historic agreement was reached in May 2008 between Union Pacific and the Cities of Casa Grande, Eloy, Maricopa and Pinal County.  The agreement included a $35 million commitment from Union Pacific over 25 years for the construction of grade separations at major public railroad crossings.  The agreement provided the framework for transportation planning, economic development, historic preservation and support for increased railroad capacity in the region.


"There is a significant need for economic development in our region and Union Pacific's double track project is a major component in creating more jobs in Pinal County," said Pinal County Supervisor Lionel Ruiz.  Supervisor Ruiz's district is the one affected by these crossings.


Pinal County Board of Supervisors' Chairman David Snider and Sandie Smith also praised the Commissioners for their decision. 


The application was one of nine packets filed with the Corporation Commissioners involving Union Pacific's addition of a second main line.  Three applications were approved in March, May, and June of this year.  There are five more applications still pending with the ACC.

Heather Murphy
Director, Communications & Public Affairs
Pinal County

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