Train whistles could be silenced in Lansing by January 2018
by Melanie Jongsma
LANSING, Ill. (November 7, 2017) – During the Public Works and ADA report at tonight’s Committee of the Whole meeting, Village Administrator Dan Podgorski and Village Engineer Jeff Pintar provided an update on the Railroad Quiet Zone project that has been in process for the past two years. “We’re getting close to the implementation phase,” said Podgorski. The next step will be to purchase “flexible delineators,” physical barriers that are required as a replacement for the audio warning a train whistle normally provides.
The delineators would be installed at five locations where railroad tracks cross Lansing roads:
- Thornton-Lansing Road
- Ridge Road
- Torrence Avenue
- 186th Street
- Burnham Avenue
The Village Board received a proposal describing Qwick Kurb flexible delineators which can be purchased through Cloverleaf Corporation for $44,732.64. Trustees are to review the proposal.
Approval of the purchase of the Qwick Kurb flexible delineators will be placed on the agenda for the November 21 Village Board meeting. Approval is likely, since the Village had budgeted $74,000 for Quiet Zone implementation—enough to cover the cost of delineators as well as some necessary modifications to an access driveway on Torrence Avenue just south of the tracks. Those modifications are being completed as part of the concrete restoration program that has already begun.
If purchase is approved, the delineators can be installed at all five locations between Thanksgiving and Christmas of this year.
Pintar will then notify multiple regulatory agencies—including the Illinois Commerce Commission, the State of Illinois, Cook County, CSX Rail, and the Illinois Department of Transportation—that we have met all safety requirements for the Quiet Zones.
Within 30 days, the appropriate agencies will come out to do an inspection and grant approval.
One wild card
The railroad has not yet acknowledged any of the documentation Pintar has been sending, so a delayed response from them could impact completion of the project. Asked when the Quiet Zones would be in place and in action, Pintar said, “Best case scenario, I would say mid-January.”