DANVILLE — City officials want to study creating quiet zones along the city's railroad lines — areas where trains would not blow their whistles.
A study on that would be done in relation to another that will address safety at several railroad crossings in Danville and two in Catlin.
Both studies are being funded mostly with federal dollars that flow through the local Metropolitan Planning Organization, an organization of representatives from several local cities and villages, including Danville and Catlin, that sets transportation priorities in the Danville area.
Jaclyn Marganski, director of the local Metropolitan Planning Organization, said the quiet-zone study would be in response to a longtime com- munity desire in Danville to reduce train noise. Danville has several train lines, and Mar- ganski said there's been an increase in train traffic recently, and with that comes an increase in train noise.
She said the study could identify crossings where trains would no longer be allowed to blow their horns. Marganski said it's a quality-of-life issue for people who live in nearby neighborhoods. She said this type of study is new and not many communities have done it. She said the study will look at other safety improvements, like double-extension gates that would block vehicles from going around crossing gates, so a train warning horn could possibly be eliminated at that spot.
The quiet-zone study has not yet been bid, but it will be soon, Marganski said.
A contractor has already been chosen to do the safety study, which will evaluate eight railroad crossings — six in Danville and two in Catlin — for potential safety improvements and identify possible funding for those improvements. Those crossings are on the Norfolk Southern line at Voorhees Street, Bowman Avenue and Williams Street, all in Danville, and Lyons Road and Paris Street in Catlin, and the CSX line at Liberty Lane, Bowman Avenue and Griffin Street in Danville.
Hanson Professional Services has agreed to do the safety study for $22,178. About 80 percent of that will be paid for with federal dollars. According to city documents, in lieu of a local cash match, Danville's engineering department will manage the project.
Since these federal dollars for transportation are included in Danville's budget, aldermen will consider approving the contract with Hanson at Tuesday night's public-works committee meeting. The panel meets at 6 p.m. at the municipal building, 17 W. Main St., Danville.