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Monday, February 10, 2014    

Quiet zone progresses in North Dakota; crossing work advances in Ohio


The city of Bismarck, N.D., will hold an open house on Feb. 13 to review plans for a quiet zone in the downtown area.

City and SRF Consulting Group Inc. representatives will discuss the project, provide displays and answer questions about the proposed work.

The city plans to establish a quiet zone at three grade crossings along a BNSF Railway Co. corridor. The Federal Railroad Administration will allow the city to create the zone if certain safety measures are implemented at the 3rd, 5th and 12th street crossings to protect pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Train horns would not be sounded at the three crossings if the zone is formed.

SRF Consulting Group has recommended measures that would cost more than $3 million, including four-quadrant gates, vehicle detection systems, flashing lights, pedestrian mazes and the removal of one rail spur. The quiet zone might be implemented in early 2015.

Meanwhile, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has approved construction authorization from the Ohio Rail Development Commission directing Norfolk Southern Railway to install mast-mounted flashing lights and roadway gates at a crossing in Stark County.

Work must be completed by Nov. 5. Funding will be covered by federal sources.

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