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Railroad quiet zone is progressing

The Rosemount Town Pages has spent the last few weeks checking out the city's bills. In this last installment we will look at a payment made to Union Pacific Railroad for $203,479.55.

The payment went to the company for work it has done on three railroad crossings in Rosemount in an effort to make the city a "quiet zone." The payments were partial amounts of what will eventually be paid for the project, said city engineer Andy Brotzler.

The establishment of the city as a quiet zone will prevent trains from blowing their horns as they pass through town except in emergencies. The city council started pursuing the idea more than five years ago due to frequent complaints about noise.

Brotzler said the safety requirements are stringent. To establish the zone the city and railroad have to update all the crossings from 160th Street at the southern border of the city, to Akron Avenue.

The invoice approved by the council in the March 11 bills included work at the railroad crossings located at 160th Street, 145th Street and Biscayne Avenue.

When all the work is completed improvements to the intersections will include signal circuitry upgrades at the 160th Street and Biscayne Avenue crossings to install "constant warning" technology, which adjusts the signal warning timing to the speed of the oncoming train; new quad-gate signal system at the 145th Street crossing to prevent motorists from driving around the gates and new track crossing surface on Biscayne Avenue with additional roadway improvements.

Union Pacific should be done with its share of the improvements sometime this spring. After that, the city will complete necessary roadway improvements.

After those improvements have been completed, the city will apply to make the city a quiet zone to the Federal Railroad Administration.

In all Brotzler estimates the project will cost the city $900,000. The improvements will be funded in part by the city's Municipal State Aid Allotment.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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