News Flash

City of Minot News Flash

Posted on: January 5, 2022

Quiet zones could be coming to downtown

Quiet zone 1st st se cropped

Downtown Minot could get a little quieter under a plan approved by the Minot City Council.

A project to create a railroad quiet zone through the downtown area was added to the City’s capital improvement plan after gaining support from Council members. City Engineer Lance Meyer said the quiet zone project will be added to the 2022-2026 CIP.

Railroad quiet zones have long been a topic of discussion in Minot. The City created its first quiet zone in 2014 on the west side of town on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks. That project eliminated 85 percent of train horns through the majority of Minot, but no quiet zones currently exist at CP Rail crossings.

Following a study by City staff and SRF Consulting Group, Inc., the recommendations were to create one quiet zone for the entire Canadian Pacific Railroad through Minot, including crossings at 8th Avenue SE, 9th Street SE, 3rd Street SE to Main Street North, and 3rd Street near the Amtrak Depot. Train horns would be silenced in those locations.

The current crossing at Maple Street is scheduled to be removed as part of the construction of the Maple Diversion phase of flood control, but could be closed sooner if included within the quiet zone.

Several crossing safety improvements were also part of the recommendation, including:

  • -3rd Street SE: Four quadrant gates. Estimated cost $402,000
  • -Central Avenue East: Medians. Estimated cost $103,000
  • -3rd Street/Amtrak Depot: Gates and medians. Estimated cost $390,000

Meyer said the City has studied various configurations of a quiet zone through downtown, and had gathered input from several property owners that could be impacted by potential changes.

“We spent a significant amount of time looking at different access configurations and improvements for these roadways downtown,” Meyer said. 

He said the project could potentially be scheduled to start design in 2023. If the Council approves funding, the City would hire a consultant and apply to the Federal Railroad Administration, which could take between 12 months and 18 months to determine eligibility. The City could work on the design and prepare for the project while the eligibility is determined, Meyer said.

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