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900 S. quiet zones overcome 2 hurdles

The Salt Lake City Council learned Thursday the railroad quiet zones on the 900 South rail line will only cost $700,000 rather than the previously anticipated $2.7 million.

Beyond the cost, the council also discovered that the Federal Railroad Administration has signed off on the 900 South zone, as well as another similar zone near The Gateway mixed-use development.

The 900 South quiet zone will stretch from Redwood Road to 700 West. Throughout the zone freight trains will not be allowed to blow their roaring whistles, which have kept residents sleepless and bothered since the freight line was reactivated through the residential area in late 2001.

D.J. Baxter, senior adviser to Mayor Rocky Anderson, told the council that the zones could be in place by January or February 2004.

With the federal red tape associated with the quiet zones now out of the way, the City Council agreed to allocate the $700,000 to create the quiet zones.

The city, along with Union Pacific, has to make the railroad-street crossings safer so that cars cannot maneuver around downed rail crossings to get in front of the silent trains.