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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Frankfort, Ill., residents back quiet zone plan

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The village and Robert E. Hamilton Consulting Engineers recently hosted an open house for the public to review information concerning the designation of a "quiet zone" along the Canadian National Railway tracks in Frankfort, Ill., according to the Joliet Herald News.

The open house served as an update to the public regarding the quiet zone process and an invitation to the public to ask questions and offer feedback regarding the quiet zone proposal. About 60 residents attended the open house and asked questions and viewed displays representing the intersection improvements to designate a quiet zone.

As part of an agreement between Frankfort and the railway, CN agreed to fund the engineering studies and required intersection improvements that would be necessary to achieve the quiet zone designation in Frankfort from Harlem Avenue to 116th Avenue. With the designation, train engineers are prohibited from sounding the train horn at each intersection unless an emergency situation arises.

The study includes an inventory of equipment at each railroad crossing along with the risk index for the location and a review of the safety improvements needed to achieve the designation. A Notice of Intent to create a quiet zone is expected to be filed with the Federal Railroad Administration by the end the year. Frankfort officials said they expect the process to take 18 to 24 months for completion.

"Establishing a quiet zone will benefit our residents by eliminating the requirement to sound the exceptionally loud train horn at each intersection," said Frankfort Mayor Jim Holland. "However, we need to confirm that appropriate supplemental safety measures are in place at the designated intersections to insure the safety of our residents."

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