Quiet victory for city of Scottsbluff officials and residents - kotanow.com- Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Quiet victory for city of Scottsbluff officials and residents

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Thursday, April 24th will be known as the official day most of the city of Scottsbluff became a 24-hour a day whistle-free zone.

On Thursday afternoon, during a news conference at Scottsbluff City Hall, Mayor Randy Meininger said, "the quiet zone comes after a lengthy and persistent effort by city officials to reduce the amount of noise from trains passing through the city."

City officials in cooperation with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway initiated several additional safety measures including "upgraded railroad circuitry and bells, raised medians to prevent vehicles from going around lowered gates, realignment of streets, and removal of obsolete tracks," said Meininger.

The Scottsbluff mayor said residents will still hear the horn at the railroad tracks near 21st Avenue and South Beltline Highway. Meininger said that area belongs to the county and that if residents would like the county to initiate a quiet-zone there, that would be up to commissioners.

Meinginger went on to say that BNSF engineers may still blast the horns within the next two weeks because all safety components need to reach all the engineers. In addition, engineers can still blow horns if they see an emergency or unsafe condition.

The Scottsbluff mayor noted there have been delays in the past where officials tried to implement the quiet zone referring to June 6th, 2013. It was on that date that the city was scheduled to be placed under a quiet zone but the Federal Rail Administration had changed the regulation two months prior to the city turning in paper work. Meininger said administration officials were concerned with the lack of monitoring equipment on side railroad tracks.

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