Kyle seeks rail improvements as Burleson Street project nears

Progress on construction improvements to Burleson Street continues as Kyle city officials anticipate reopening the road from Lockhart Street to St. Anthony’s Drive by July.
Worries are mounting, however, as city officials have been unable to communicate with Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) regarding the necessity for the completion of the railroad crossing on Burleson Street before the actual city repairs arrive at the crossing point.
Leon Barba, Kyle City Engineer, said Kyle has not had “great communication” with UPRR to complete a series of improvements to the Burleson Street railroad crossing. Barba cited “serious layoffs” within that company as a possible factor.

Kyle has a contract with UPRR that requires them to expand the width of the rail crossing and move signal arms further out in order to accommodate the wider Burleson Street.
However, work on Burleson Street is moving at a faster pace than UPRR’s planned crossing improvements. Barba said Burleson Street is 35 percent complete, with the city finishing the section from Lockhart Street to St. Anthony’s Drive by July. Work on Burleson Street from Star of Texas Drive to just past Spring Branch Drive is slated to start within the next four or so months. Kyle plans to complete Burleson Street by September 2020.
“If we get there before they (UPRR) do, we have to stop and wait for them,” Barba said May 21. “That’s not what we want. We want the crossing done first, and then tie into what they have.”
Barba said if Kyle finishes Burleson Street before the UPRR is done, it could lead to a wider road and a narrow crossing. That could lead to “a lot of back and forth” between the city and the UPRR, which could lead to delays.
“If we get there first, you can expect that whatever we build is never going to be exactly what they (UPRR) want,” Barba said. “We’re going to keep pushing and get some response from Union Pacific.”
Meanwhile, progress on Lehman Road continues to crawl at a slow pace. Only 11 percent of Lehman Road is complete at this time, according to city officials. Kyle plans to complete Lehman Road by January 2021.
Barba said the city plans to begin boring under FM 150 at the Lehman Road intersection in order to install a 30-inch wastewater line, as well as a 12-inch reclaimed water line. Until those pipes are installed and then tested, Barba said it could be “a while” before they begin further excavation on Lehman Road from FM 150 to the low water crossing near Lake Kyle Park.
Kyle city staff is also looking into street lamps on the recently opened Marketplace Extension, which opened in late April.
Along with the street lamps, Kyle officials plan to add several “safety measures” along the Marketplace Extension, which connects the I-35 access road to the roundabout at Marketplace Avenue and Burleson Street.

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