With arena plan approved, what's next?

2010-05-11T23:16:00Z With arena plan approved, what's next?By DEENA WINTER / Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com

Now that voters have green-lighted the arena project, wheels will begin turning immediately.

What happens next?

"More meetings," arena coordinator Dan Marvin said.

One of the first things that must be finalized is purchase of land, primarily from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and Union Pacific Railroad.

"There are land title issues that need to be worked through, but the time frame we have discussed is sometime between late June to mid-July for closing on the BNSF (land) and the UP (land)," Marvin said via e-mail.

After the city takes title to the property, work would begin in what's called the Wye area northwest of the downtown post office, where traffic on an active BNSF bridge would be switched over to an abandoned UP bridge.

Grading work for the new track would be done, and the city would install a liner over some sewer lines in the Wye area.

Some of the storage tracks west of Lincoln Station would be removed at the same time.

The Amtrak line would stay put until 2012, but some other tracks would be removed and environmental work would begin.

The Lincoln City Council must approve land purchases and a new occupation tax on bars, restaurants, hotel rooms and car rentals.

Marvin said the city "wants to visit with stakeholders about what that amounts to."

Those taxes are expected to become effective Jan. 1.

The city already is advertising for a consultant to handle environmental analysis and remediation and will begin advertising for other services, including a program manager.

The Urban Design Committee and Historical Preservation Committee will review designs as the project proceeds.

Reach Deena Winter at 402-473-2642 or dwinter@journalstar.com.

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