DELTA’S ALTERNATIVE TRUCK ROUTE TO BE COMPLETE BY YEAR’S END

Above, begun in 2011, Delta’s alternative truck route is now expected to be open for traffic by the end of 2014.

Above, begun in 2011, Delta’s alternative truck route is now expected to be open for traffic by the end of 2014.


By Caitlin Switzer
DELTA–(July 1, 2014) It is a project intended to ease congestion and facilitate traffic movement. For Delta’s alternate truck route project, however, the going has not been easy. The project kicked off in 2011, and is expected to be complete by the end of 2014, according to Delta City Manager Justin Clifton.
 
Clifton, who noted that it “has been very challenging to complete negotiations with UPRR (Union Pacific Railroad) in a timely fashion,” added that unforeseen circumstances resulting in delays are always possible. However, the end appears to be in sight.
 
“We have cleared the last couple of hurdles with UPRR,” Clifton said, “and they should begin tying in the new tracks and starting a 30-day seasoning period very soon. After the seasoning period, the City and UPRR can close on the exchange of property, allowing the City to pull up the old tracks and complete the truck route in their place.”
 
The cost of the entire project, from the earliest feasibility study through design, property acquisition and construction to the final ribbon cutting, will run around $30 million, he said. The cost for construction itself is $20 million.
 
“The total cost of the project has been the source of confusions and misinformation,” Clifton said. “That is largely because projects like this take place over many phases and many years.” In the end, the alternate truck route will benefit Delta in many ways, he said.
 
“The project has tremendous potential,” Clifton said. “First and most important, the rail crossing will no longer pose a threat to life. If emergency vehicles need to travel north and south of the tracks they might have to wait eight minutes if they catch the train in the wrong spot. Can you imagine waiting eight minutes if your house is on fire or you are having a heart attack?
 
“Secondly, completing the truck route gives us a new environment from which we can develop a thriving downtown,” he said. “With so many big trucks our downtown is simply not attractive to most people to spend a lot of time. With the vast majority of the trucks removed, we have the opportunity to invest in our downtown and make it a thriving center of our community. Business merchants are already working with the City to potentially form a Business Improvements District, which would be dedicated to enhancing our downtown in anticipation of the truck route’s completion.”
 
Delta Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kami Collins said she has heard both positive comments and concerns from the community concerning the alternative truck route.
 
“I think “good” is what we make of it,” Collins said. “I’ve heard both negative and positive predictions of what Delta will look like after the completion of the truck route, both from community members and my business members. At this point, the truck route is a reality, and so it will be whatever we make of it. I think our work in forming a Business Improvement District will help draw people downtown.
 
“I think “good” is what we make of it,” Collins said. “I’ve heard both negative and positive predictions of what Delta will look like after the completion of the truck route, both from community members and my business members. At this point, the truck route is a reality, and so it will be whatever we make of it. I think our work in forming a Business Improvement District will help draw people downtown.
 
“Ultimately I think this is an opportunity for the business community to pull together and really market downtown Delta as a place to be, and keep visitors driving through our beautiful, friendly town,” Collins said.