SR 347/Union Pacific Railroad Overpass EA

NEPA // Environmental Planning

Logan Simpson’s Arizona environmental planning team prepared an environmental assessment for a grade-separated crossing over the Union Pacific Railroad. SR 347 is a north-south roadway that crosses the Union Pacific Railroad in the center of the City of Maricopa. When trains pass through the city, traffic on SR 347 is stopped. The nearest alternative crossings require several miles of out-of-direction travel to reach. About 34,000 vehicles a day using SR 347 compete with the 60 trains a day traveling the Union Pacific. With growth in the area anticipated to continue, resolving congestion and train-caused traffic delays has become a high priority for the City of Maricopa, the Arizona Department of Transportation, and regional transportation officials. Ten build alternatives were evaluated and a preferred alternative was selected. The Arizona environmental planning project will require the acquisition of several properties, the relocation of the existing Amtrak station, and will include local roadway realignments and modifications. The project involved extensive public outreach meetings and continual agency coordination. The primary concerns raised by the community centered around the potential acquisition and access impacts to businesses, rerouting traffic to roads that are already congested particularly during peak hours, increased noise levels, the effects to community facilities, and the project’s accommodation of bicyclists and pedestrians.