Livingston community concerned about safety when underpass flood - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Livingston community concerned about safety when underpass floods

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LIVINGSTON, Mont. -

A thunderstorm over Livingston, Thursday caused some flash flooding around the community. 

But it was the flooding that forced the closure of the underpass on North Main Street that really had people talking.

Jane Tecca says it's a public safety concern when the underpass floods and trains block the other access points.

That's what Tecca says happened Thursday evening. "We have two other rail crossings to get to the other side of town And both of them were blocked with trains, I think they were both going in opposite directions."

Tecca says it's a public safety concern when the underpass floods and trains block the other access points. "If somebody were having a medical emergency if there was a fire there is literally no way for emergency vehicles to access the north side of town."  

Livingston's city manager Michael Kardoes admits that access in these situations can be frustrating. But, he disputes any claim that emergency vehicles cannot get through.

Kardoes explains, "if for some reason there was an exceptionally long train or two different trains and both of the at-grade crossings are blocked the emergency vehicles, and we've tested this out, actually have more clearance than normal vehicles. They can proceed through the underpass even at its peak water level."

As for fixing the traffic congestion issue, the city is already at work to find an alternative. 
Kardoes says the results of a transportation study should be in hand this summer to determine where another access point can be added and at what potential cost.

"That kind of project, if it's a stand-alone crossing, you're talking $10 to 12 million. If it's at a new location, where you have to put the infrastructure in to get there, you're talking $12 to 15 million."

Once the study is completed, the city will host a public hearing. At that time they will look at funding options from grants to a possible levy.
 

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