Union Pacific to provide engineering services for planned ballpark

Citys OKs $163,000 agreement with railroad

City Council approved a $162,975 agreement for preliminary engineering services from Union Pacific Railroad relating to the construction of El Paso's planned Triple-A ballpark.

The measure passed, 6-2, with city Reps Carl Robinson and Eddie Holguin voting against it.

Construction of a $50 million ballpark would be immediately adjacent to Union Pacific's depressed train tracks  in Downtown El Paso. One aspect of the project that is being contemplated is pedestrian access over the traintracks, but an agreement with Union Pacific is necessary in order to approve plans for the project.

City Engineer Alan Shubert said the city of El Paso has to work with the railroad on the ballpark project, essentially paying Union Pacific for the work. The city manager was also authorized to approve an additional $50,000 for additional services, if needed. The total contract amount is not to exceed $212,975.

"We are doing some structural analysis right now in order to protect the railroad during ballpark construction," Shubert said. "This was (Union Pacific's) proposal to us actually."

The agreement will include preliminary engineering and other related services, including developing cost estimates, a review of the project's preliminary layouts and current train and switching moves.

City Rep. Emma Acosta asked that the agenda item be moved from the consent agenda to the regular agenda because it dealt with the ballpark. City manager Joyce Wilson said the amount of the project with Union Pacific is included in the total cost of the ballpark. City Rep. Susie Byrd later asked that  any items dealing with ballpark construction be on the regular agenda from now on. Shubert agreed to do that moving forward.

(Oct. 2012 story)

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