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BNSF Railway plans to build second bridge to reduce traffic in Sandpoint

SANDPOINT, Idaho. - BNSF Railway has offered to build a second bridge over Lake Pend Oreille, right next to the current bridge over the lake. The project will also introduce new bridges over Sand Creek and Bridge Street in Sandpoint. 

The project aims to reduce congestion and help move current freight train traffic more efficiently. BNSF said this benefits all the products carried and the passenger trains that run on BNSF's main line.

Since only one train can cross at a time, trains often come to stop which tends to block local roadways while waiting to cross.

With a second bridge, local drivers may see shorter wait times on nearby roads, according to BNSF, which claims the flow of freight trains and passenger trains will be faster throughout the region.

According to Keep Sandpoint Rolling, the benefits of creating a second bridge include:

  • This project will enhance the movement of freight in the region, reducing congestion and benefiting commerce
  • Trains running in both directions across the bridges will reduce the need for engineers to slow down or stop as they wait for clearance to cross
  • Drivers could see shorter wait times on nearby roads and streets that cross BNSF tracks
  • It is expected that locomotive emissions will be reduced as trains will not be idling as much or "powering up" to resume travel in the Sandpoint area

BNSF delivers clothing, appliances, packaged food, electronics, etc across Idaho. The raildroad company said it plans to build the second bridge to help make Idaho's economy more efficient.

BNSF started working on this project in early Sept. on properties between Sand Creek and Dog Beach which will clear areas for new trail construction.



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