Winter Park Quiet Zone will have to wait until spring
February 23, 2012
WINTER PARK – Final construction of the quiet zone at the Vasquez Road intersection with the railroad in Winter Park have been delayed due to weather and temperature, according to Union Pacific Railroad officials.
What was originally supposed to be completed in last fall is now scheduled for completion in May.
Construction of a quiet zone means trains no longer have to blow their whistles as they approach the intersection.
Winter Park submitted its application for quiet zone crossings, along with a non-refundable $20,000 check, to Union Pacific in August 2009. It set aside $250,000 for “quiet zones” in its 2010 budget, and wrote a check for $222,389 on June 30, 2011.
Construction began for Union Pacific in June 2010 and the agreement was in place in May 2011. Union Pacific ordered all the materials in August 2011. Due to weather and temperatures, the construction was delayed by Union Pacific, said spokesman Mark Davis, who said the project will be completed by May. Then the quiet zone will be initialized, he said.
Drew Nelson has been working on this project since he became town manager in 2009.
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What remains to be completed includes installation of new gates and electronics for the contant warning device, he said.
The crossing won’t look much different once that hardware is in place, said Nelson.
Money the town has spent on the Vasquez quiet zone includes legal fees and engineering costs.
In 2005, the Federal Railroad Administration passed a regulation allowing communities to install “quiet zones” that would preclude train engineers from blowing horns, but part of the regulation states that funding and maintenance costs will be paid by the towns.