Spokane County Commissioners Tuesday approved an agreement with Union Pacific Railroad to upgrade a crossing near the old Walk in the Wild Zoo.
Commissioner Steve Hasson said the crossing improvements are needed for a new community center proposed for the old zoo site known as Mirabeau Point.
County engineering officials said the crossing on Shannon Road is considered unsafe by the state’s utilities and transportation commission.
The commission has threatened to close it, Hasson said.
However, proponents of the Mirabeau Point project said the crossing is essential for access to the community center.
Euclid Avenue on the north side of the property already provides access, but proponents say they need a second route into the largely undeveloped land.
The county would seek federal money to install crossing gates and lights. The tracks are used by about three trains a day, officials said.
A group of Valley activists formed a non-profit organization last year to promote the $27 million center for recreation, education and cultural events.
It would include a YMCA fitness center, an ice rink, a community hall and other facilities. Mirabeau Point adjoins the Centennial Trail along the Spokane River.