Ozark Officials Urge Union Pacific to Open Road to Boost Business

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Main Street Ozark has been working on its plans to revitalize the city. But those plans are contingent upon Union Pacific Railroad re-opening a road.

"Oliver Street was an access across the railroad tracks that at that point in time led to some homes down that were south of the tracks," Royce Gattis, with the Ozark Chamber of Commerce said.

Oliver Street was erased from Ozark city maps in 2001, according to Sandy Key with Main Street Ozark.

"The railroad company was working on the tracks,  making renovations and things of that nature, and then the next thing we knew, Oliver Street was closed," Key said.

What used to be Oliver Street is now gravel, broken up only by the railroad tracks.

"What the railroad is doing right now is blocking a portion of this city from access that's south of this track," Gattis said.

Main Street Ozark is working to change that. They'd like to see the road back open.

"We just want a dock and a pathway across the tracks sot hat boats can travel the river, get out, come in to downtown Ozark, eat, spend money, go antiquing," Key explained.

But before they can re-open the road, Raquel Espinoza with Union Pacific, said safety issues need to be addressed.

"It would not be responsible on our part or their part to agree to allow thousands of people coming across the tracks without taking the right precautions," said Espinoza.

Trains come around the corner into Ozark at 60 miles per hour, and wouldn't have enough time to stop if someone tried to cross the tracks.

If Main Street Ozark can get the road re-opened, they say there's plenty of work clearing the brush between the tracks and the river.

If the re-development project continues to move forward, Key estimated 187 jobs would be created.

For more information about Main Street Ozark's redevelopment plans, CLICK HERE.