LOGAN – City officials here are happy to report that motorists are finally flowing smoothly through the intersection of 1400 North and 600 West streets in Logan, thanks to the installation of new traffic signal equipment by Public Works crews late last week.
“Everything seems to be working fine now,” according to Paul Lindhardt, the city’s director of Public Works.
The busy intersection near the Bridgerland Technical College had been a four-way stop until city officials launched an extensive effort to upgrade the junction of 1400 North and 600 West streets in the summer of 2020.
Although that project was completed in November of last year, the newly installed traffic signal at the intersection has continued to flash red in all directions at times while city employees struggled to resolve concerns about traffic safety caused by the proximity of a nearby railroad crossing on 1400 North.
According to a Jan. 20 post on the city’s Facebook page, that issue had forced city officials to improvise non-traditional ways to detect trains on those tracks that caused conflicts with the traffic signal’s hardware and software.
“I can’t promise that we won’t have to go back to the flashing red mode,” Lindhardt said Monday. “But it looks like everything is working well now.”
All that remains now to complete the planned improvement of that thoroughfare is to widen the road surface of 1400 North as it crosses the nearby railroad tracks.
But that is easier said than done, according to city officials.
Back in November of 2020, assistant city engineer Tom Dickinson warned motorists to exercise caution when using the intersection because its final design had not been fully realized.
“Travelers will notice that the roadway narrows on 1400 North as it approaches the railroad tracks (east of the intersection),” Dickinson explained. “The City of Logan has been working with Union Pacific Railroad on the design of the intersection since 2016. But, due to unforeseen delays in the permitting process, (widening of) the railroad crossing has not yet been completed.”
Ideally, in addition to widening the roadway over the railroad tracks to four lanes, warning devices would have been installed to advise motorists of oncoming trains.
Two months later, city officials acknowledge that negotiations with Union Pacific over the cost of installing and maintaining those warning devices are at an impasse that may require litigation to resolve.
In their Facebook post, city officials apologized for motorists’ frustration with the situation and praised their continued patience while the railroad crossing issues are resolved.
They also predicted that the intersection at 1400 North and 600 West will be a great asset to the city and its citizens when final improvements have been made.