Burlington, IA – Burlington has been working to secure a downtown quiet zone designation for more than two years. Trains do not have to blow their horns or whistles in such an area because of safety modifications to railroad crossings.
Representatives of Burlington, BNSF Railway, and the Federal Railroad Administration reviewed the work done to ten downtown crossings on Tuesday, Dec. 1.
City Manager Doug Worden says the tour went very well. He says the next step for the city is to file a quiet zone notice of establishment.
Worden says the document is filed with all involved parties. He says if no objections come up during a 21-day period, the designation would take effect.
Steve Forsberg with BNSF Railways agrees with Worden that the walk-through went well. "BNSF does not object to the steps the city has taken in order to eventually implement a 24-hour Quiet zone," says Forsberg, "there are some minor punch list items both the city and BNSF need to complete before implementation."
Doug Worden says the only physical construction remaining is the moving of a crossing gate on South Street.
Burlington built medians at several crossings to prevent people from driving around safety gates. Several other downtown crossings were closed.
Worden says downtown business owners and residents have been asking for the quiet zone for years. He says the noise has also impacted previous economic development efforts.
Worden says the total cost of the project will be about $500,000. He says the city will end up paying about 80% of the total cost.