Few people equate a “quiet zone” with trains.
However, that’s just what will be created when Walsh & Kelly of Griffith completes construction projects at the Lake Street and Hart Street Canadian National railroad crossings in Dyer.
A quiet zone is developed with various types of improvements. Those include the installation of specially-designed gates that block the track when a train is nearing the crossing.
Median barriers, which are three to four-feet tall and are often light-reflective, have also been installed in Munster and Schererville at busy railroad crossings. These barriers prevent motorists from going around conventional crossing gates.
When the crossings are appropriately blocked, train engineers don’t have to blow the engine’s whistle to warn of the train’s approach – hence a quiet zone.
On April 11, the Dyer Town Council awarded the contract to Walsh & Kelly. The company’s $74,000 bid was the lowest of three received by town officials. The entire cost of the project, including engineering work, will be the responsibility of Canadian National Railroad.
Work is expected to begin soon at Hart Street. Officials plan to coordinate the project with maintenance work at the Lake Street crossing that CN has already planned. The quiet zone construction is expected to take about three weeks to complete, weather permitting.
Town officials say it will be necessary to close each crossing during the project for the safety of the public and the workers. Both crossing won’t be closed at the same time because they serve as detour routes for each other.
According to Federal Railroad Administration rules, the quiet zone will go into effect 21 days after the project is completed. That should be in June, town officials say.