The existing Ennis Avenue at-grade railroad crossing presents many obstacles for pedestrian and vehicular traffic in Downtown Ennis. Circulation is interrupted by railroad freight traffic, and no formalized pedestrian crossing of the track exists, resulting in an inherently dangerous condition. The railway also divides the downtown, weakening potential cross-street shopping synergies among businesses.
Working with the City of Ennis, Union Pacific Railroad and North Central Texas Council of Governments, MESA and the design team proposed design alternatives for Ennis Avenue focusing on pedestrian safety and connectivity, streetscape amenities, and iconic branding desired by the City. The new grade separated crossing increases overall safety by isolating railway traffic from pedestrians and vehicles, while creating a unique landmark that guides residents and visitors into the vibrant downtown district.