City said it has a better timeline of when the ‘Quiet Zone’ project would be completed

City said it has a better timeline of when the “Quiet Zone” project would be completed
Published: Nov. 10, 2020 at 10:33 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Five years after starting the downtown “Quiet Zone” project, the city of Cedar Rapids said it has a better idea of when it might be complete.

The project was intended to stop trains from sounding its sirens in the downtown area.

“These trains are terrible,” Patti Dunleavy said. “At night, they just don’t know how to do one or two beeps.”

“I live on the top floor, and it’s so loud you can’t hear inside,” Greg Williams said. “I could have my TV up and you can’t hear the TV.”

Patti Dunleavy and Greg Williams live at the Geneva Tower, a block from the tracks. They hear whistles at least 7 times a day.

“I’ve been on the phone with people and when the train comes by I have to say hold on because I can’t hear anything,” Williams said.

City leaders have been working to quiet them down for the last five years, setting up arms, lights and, signs as part of a quiet zone. These were the first steps of a three-phase project. John Witt, the traffic engineering program manager for the city, said they have a better timeline. Each phase should take about a year to complete with an estimated deadline of 2024.

“Just coordinating with federal agencies, the federal rail administration, and also the railroad, you can take a long time,” Witt said. “We’re also dealing with three different railroad companies for this proposed quiet zone.”

Witt said coordinating with the three train companies was the biggest challenge, but he said a significant improvement should be seen with the completion of each of the three projects. It’s a project that can’t be done fast enough for the people living near the rails.

“I wish they would hurry up and get it done because I’m tired of listening to it,” Dunleavy said.

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