OTTUMWA — A Fairfield engineering firm will help Ottumwa study whether the existing railway spur could move to a location closer to South Iowa Avenue.
The existing spur is near Jefferson and Union streets, which has limited access for large vehicles. Ideally, supporters would like to move the access point closer to South Iowa Avenue.
Last October, the Ottumwa Economic Development Corp., now Greater Ottumwa Partners in Progress, received an $80,000 planning grant from the Iowa Department of Transportation’s railway revolving loan and grant program. Sharon Stroh, GOPiP’s vice president of industrial development, said at the time the goal was to figure out a site with better access, particularly for large trucks.
South Iowa Avenue was rebuilt in 2016. It has easy access to Highway 34 and Highway 63, and the road was redesigned specifically to handle the truck traffic associated with JBS.
French-Reneker of Fairfield received GOPiP’s contract for the study. The contract includes reviewing current arrangements, developing conceptual designs and cost estimates for the move.
In announcing the contract Monday, Stroh said her organization will work “closely with Burlington Junction, Area 15 Regional Planning Commission, and [the] City of Ottumwa.”