Closing Raymond Avenue, noise variance permit


Pile driving near the railroad bridge over Raymond Avenue, north of Energy Park Drive, originally scheduled to start in January, is now expected to begin Feb. 9, according to Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad officials.

The St. Paul City Council will hold a hearing on the railroad’s request for a noise variance for the project at 5:30 p.m., Feb. 4, in Council Chambers on the third floor of City Hall.

The request is for operation of general construction equipment from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and pile-driving equipment from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, Feb. 5–July 31. For more information on the variance request, call Mark Kaisersatt, St. Paul environmental health specialist, at 266-1908.

The railroad plans to replace the existing bridge with a new one of approximately the same span, raising the track grade by three feet in order to comply with state standards. Trains will continue running throughout the construction project.

Once pile driving is complete, BNSF plans to close Raymond Avenue between Energy Park Drive and Blake for approximately four months while it demolishes the old bridge and builds a new one.

Because the Raymond bridge work would overlap with a MnDOT project on Hwy. 280 that will restrict traffic there, the St. Anthony Park Community Council has requested that BNSF delay its project by one year, according to Amy Sparks, council executive director. The council has also asked that the railroad increase the length of its work week from four days to five.