Columbus has submitted two possible solutions to state transportation officials the to help motorists cope with increased train traffic projected to begin in 2018.

With its submission to the Indiana Department of Transportation, city officials are hoping to get the train crossing at the State Road 46 West and State Road 11 intersection added to a list of accepted improvement projects.

But it won’t be a quick process.

“If we put it in now, and it’s accepted, we’re talking about construction starting in 2021 or 2022,” Mayor Jim Lienhoop said. “We’ve got a ways to go on this.”

The mayor said the city has submitted two of five possible plans offered as solutions by consultant American StructurePoint to INDOT. The two are:

  • A realignment of the railroad moving it to the west with an overpass over State Road 46.
  • A new interchange at the State Road 46 and State Road 11 intersection with ramps in a pretzel-shaped pattern around the intersection and an overpass over the grade crossing.

The ultimate solution would actually be both plans done together, said Dave Hayward, the city’s executive director of public works/city engineer.

“Either of them on their own still have some issues. But together, the two would solve everything about railroads and the traffic,” he said.

For more on this story, see Friday’s Republic.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.