Artist renderings depicting planned safety upgrades to crossings along the Third Street rail tracks were unveiled Thursday at a public open house.
Once new gates and decorative fencing are installed, the city may become a little quieter.
“That corridor then becomes eligible for the city to request from the Federal Railroad Administration designation for quiet zones, which means train horns don’t need to sound at every crossing as they do today,” says IDOT project engineer Joe Schacter.
Also included in the proposal is the closure of many Third Street rail crossings on residential streets: Union, Jackson, Canedy, Scarritt, Allen and Cedar. Those aren’t a done deal and would first have to receive city approval.
Schacter says fencing and gate installation is set to begin next year — with more decorative fencing throughout much of the city and chain link fencing in less populated areas. Train speeds along the Third Street corridor could also then be increased from 25 to 40 miles per hour.
Third Street improvements could be finished by 2017, with rail traffic moved entirely to 10th street by 2020.