by Dennis Sullivan
March 26, 2014
Crete Mayor Mike Einhorn told trustees Monday the agencies responsible for oversight have given “tentative approval” to banning train engine horns at four Union-Pacific crossings: Exchange and Herman streets and Old Monee and Crete-Monee roads.
Einhorn said the total cost of installing the necessary equipment at the crossings would be $40,000 “if we do the work ourselves.” That figure doesn’t include the cost of related work on Herman and Gordon streets, he said.
Quiet zone work will include installing barriers between eastbound and westbound lanes, he said,
No specialized gates
Responding to a question from Trustee Holly Milburn, Einhorn said the crossings would not be equipped with specialized crossing gates that were once mandated by the Federal Railroad Administration.
Einhorn credited the officials with showing “some leniency” in the matter.
He told Milburn that if and when the barriers are knocked down, engineers would be required to sound their horns at the affected crossing.
Exchange Street businesses closest to the tracks will be limited to the direction of travel on their side of the street he said, terming it “collateral damage.”
Responding to a question from Trustee Steve Johnson, Einhorn said quiet zone equipment won’t include pedestrian gates.
Einhorn told Johnson officials reviewing Crete’s plan “did not specify anything like that.”
Unnamed resident to the rescue
Einhorn credited an unnamed resident with acquiring the support of Gordon Street residents near Herman for the quiet crossing at Herman.
Einhorn said the residents would rather not have train horns sounding than be able to go north and west at the Gordon-Herman intersection.
Division, 1st ruled out
He said Division and 1st streets, originally considered as part of the grouping, were ruled out because of topography. Installing barriers on 1st Street, he added, would have impeded semi tractor-trailer traffic at Crete Lumber.
He said engineers won’t sound their horns at the 1st Street crossing.