Rail Yard Redevelopment Project Will Create Ten Acres for New Sioux Falls Development
The Rail Yard Redevelopment Project is moving forward. A key milestone in the project was reached last week when the draft Environmental Assessment and Section 4(f) Evaluation document was signed by state and federal officials.
“This is an exciting time for Sioux Falls when a large project like this is one step closer,” says Mark Cotter, Director of Public Works. “Our goal is that the City’s purchase of the rail yard from BNSF will be complete by the end of the year.”
The downtown rail yard occupies an area of Sioux Falls that has been identified as a central location for economic redevelopment. The purpose of the Rail Yard Redevelopment Project is to remove the yard tracks, while maintaining BNSF’s railroad operations, meeting applicable railroad design criteria and safety standards, and being feasible from an engineering and logistics standpoint.
The removal of the yard tracks will open up approximately ten acres of land downtown for future development. If the proposed alternative is approved, trains still will travel through the heart of Sioux Falls but will interchange in the northeast part of town instead.
In 2005, Congress authorized funding to complete the removal of the downtown rail yard. The first step to use the funding from Congress is to develop an Environmental Assessment study, which identifies feasible alternatives and describes the environmental, social, and economic effects of the project’s location and design.
The draft Environmental Assessment and Section 4(f) Evaluation document is now in the public comment phase of the proposed alternative. The Environmental Assessment and Section 4(f) Evaluation document is available for public inspection at the City Engineering Office in City Hall, 224 West Ninth Street, Sioux Falls, SD; the SDDOT Central Office, 700 East Broadway Avenue, Pierre, SD; and the SDDOT Area Office, 5316 West 60th Street North, Sioux Falls, SD. The document also is available at www.siouxfalls.org/railroad.
A public meeting regarding the Rail Yard Redevelopment Project will be held on Wednesday, August 14, 2013, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Sioux Falls Convention Center, 1101 North West Avenue.