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Mayor Heuther says the clock is ticking for downtown railroad tracks


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO AM) - Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Heuther hopes to close a deal with Burlington Northern in December to remove most of the railroad tracks in downtown Sioux Falls.

     Heuther says the process is still in the environmental stage and public comment will be taken.

     He says the goal is to create more space for downtown economic development.  There will be a deal inked between Burlington Northern and the city to buy that ten acres of land using federal funds that were earmarked for this purpose. 

     Heuther says the two, far eastern tracks in downtown Sioux Falls will remain.

      In addition, the city will build two siding tracks that will run near East Rice Street and Timberline Avenue.  Public Works Director Mark Cotter says that will allow BN to interchange rail cars there instead of downtown

     Huether predicts the change will produce an economic juggernaut.