ALL-Lima Railroad Grade Separation
Affected by slow moving or stopped trains on the Indiana and Ohio Railway’s (IORY’s) tracks, the city of Lima advanced this grade separation project. This federally funded LPA project called for an Elm Street underpass beneath the IORY track. In addition, the project include the reconstruction, widening, and realignment of Elm Street between Bellefontaine Avenue and Shawnee Street. A roundabout is proposed and the five-legged intersection of Elm Street, Bellefontaine Avenue, and Calumet Avenue. The project also affected multiple access points to Elm Street.
American Structurepoint prepared the environmental analysis resulting in the development of a Level 4 Categorical Exclusion. Critical project elements included cultural resources, as the proposed project is located adjacent to the National Register (NR) listed Lima Stadium and the NR-eligible rail exhibit and Fire Museum in Lincoln Park. The location of the grade separation presented Section 4(f) concerns due to potential impacts to Lincoln Park. The improvements to Elm Street also created Section 4(f) concerns with impacts to Lincoln Park, the planned Stadium Park, and the Ottawa River Bike Path. Through close coordination with the officials with jurisdiction over these resources and ODOT, a de minimis Section 4(f) evaluation was able to be prepared.
Field studies included a Wetland Delineation, an assessment of historic properties, a Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessment including determination of potential hazardous waste locations and other potential environmental problem areas, and ecological assessments necessary for the proposed improvement.