CEDAR RAPIDS — A potential snag over the already-designed skywalk from the Fourth Avenue SE Parkade to the new library was averted Friday when Union Pacific Railroad assured city leaders that a clearance requirement would not be an issue.
Mark Davis, director of corporate and media relations for the railroad in Omaha, Neb., said the company’s “clearance team” had reviewed the design and concluded the $500,000 skywalk was in compliance.
That means the skywalk will not need to be redesigned, which would have meant additional costs and a possible delay to the project.
Cedar Rapids Library Director Bob Pasicznyuk called the news from Union Pacific, relayed to him via the city’s Public Works Department, “a significant step toward resolving this.”
Pasicznyuk, the library board and the senior project manager, Clayton Cubbage of Ryan Cos. US Inc., had been under the impression that the railroad had raised the track six inches, putting the proposed skywalk into the clearance zone by four inches.
But Davis said he learned on Friday that the railroad had signed off on the skywalk design on Jan. 6, after the work on the track had already been completed.
“This looks like what we need,” Pasicznyuk said.
One of the pillars for the proposed skywalk also encroaches into the right of way of a city trail that runs alongside the railroad track, but Pasicznyuk said Friday he expected that matter to be resolved.
Pasicznyuk added that the library board is interested in reviewing any extra costs associated with the skywalk. The railroad, for instance, will require a flagman to be present along the track during the skywalk construction, which Pasicznyuk on Thursday told the library board could cost $65,000.