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Rapid City considers railroad quiet zone

June 14, 2018

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — Rapid City officials are considering spending more than $4 million to create a railroad quiet zone in the city’s downtown.

The City Council will discuss several options Monday to reduce noise from train horns at railroad crossings, the Rapid City Journal reported .

The city’s cheapest option would cost about $1.7 million to limit the quiet zone to the central downtown area, including only four crossings between two streets. About half of the plan’s cost would go toward making minimal signal upgrades required by the Federal Railroad Administration.

A nearly $3.2 million proposal suggests closing or converting certain crossings for pedestrian traffic. Spending a little more than half a million more would avoid closures, and instead would extend and build medians and install gates.

The most expensive option costs $4.4 million for improvements that most effectively reduce safety risks at crossings, such as a directional horn system.

City Planner Kip Harrington said the central downtown-only option is shortsighted and could hinder residential development east of a major downtown street.

No plan ensures that midday or late-night horn blasts won’t occur.

The city’s railroad quiet zone task force will meet next week to discuss funding for the project. A final report is expected within the next two months.

City officials will need to file a notice of intent with the Federal Railroad Administration and railroad companies once a quiet zone option is approved.

Harrington said Rapid City would be the first town or city in the state to implement a railroad quiet zone policy should it move forward.

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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