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Iowa DOT applying for funding to study a railroad crossing on US-75

MERRILL, Iowa (KCAU)– The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is attempting to get funding to determine whether a railroad crossing should be removed or improved.

DOT officials have applied for a federal grant that would pay for more than half of a $1.8 million study on the railroad crossing that runs through US-75 in Merrill, Iowa. The Iowa DOT and BNSF Railway would cover the remaining costs.

The goal is to reduce congestion and allow safe access to the town of more than 700 people, and the study will help determine the best way to do so.

“We’re not just looking at it in the location, where it crosses,” Dakin Schultz with the Iowa DOT said. “It may include the possibility of relocation of rails or some other manipulation to the rail if that’s feasible. That’s one of the things the study will look at while trying to provide continued access and minimize impact to the community of Merrill.”

Schultz said a grade-separated crossing could be another alternative, where the rail line either goes over or under the roadway. The Iowa DOT Is still waiting for the grant to be approved, but hopes to start the study this year and finish it in 12-18 months after it begins.

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