Springdale-based Arkansas & Missouri Railroad recently announced it would again start to use its Hewitt Street property along the east side of its office at 306 E. Emma Ave. It also has plans to install a railroad crossing along Maple Street in Springdale.
The railroad recently closed Hewitt Street, between Emma and Huntsville avenues, in order to resume operations on the property there. In a statement, Caren Kraska, chairman and president of Arkansas & Missouri Railroad, said the property is considered a key component for the railroad’s future growth.
The railroad is completing a survey to determine the actual amount of property it owns there. Plans and the timeline for the use of the property are being determined, said Suzan Caylen, director of marketing services for Arkansas & Missouri Railroad.
With regard to the Maple Street crossing, the railroad has been working with the city of Springdale to install the new crossing.
“The crossing will be equipped with a safety warning system that includes gates and signals,” Kraska said. “This project is intended to improve safety response time by providing street access for the fire station located on Holcomb Street.”
The project also is expected to improve street access for area residents and allow for growth along Maple Street.
Materials for the new crossing have been ordered, and construction is expected to be completed in about a year, Caylen said.
Work on the crossing is part of a larger project to widen Maple Street to three lanes, between Holcomb and Park streets. Springdale City Council hired Burns & McDonnell to design the $2.46 million project. It will be paid for with proceeds from the city’s 2018 bond issue.
Arkansas & Missouri Railroad has been in downtown Springdale for 33 years. The short line railroad operates freight and excursion services.