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Quiet Zone Assessment, Design, and Implementation

SRF assisted the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Council of Governments in securing a train whistle quiet zone for the Fargo, North Dakota–Moorhead, Minnesota metropolitan area. This quiet zone is nationally significant in that it was only the fourth Federal Railroad Administration-approved zone in the nation, and it is one of the longest, most complex whistle ban zones in the U.S. It is also the only bi-state, multi-jurisdictional quiet zone that has been approved to date.

SRF provided a wide range of services for this project:

  • Convening on-site diagnostic field work.
  • Coordinating project elements with state and federal approval agencies, including FRA, FHWA, MnDOT, and NDDOT.
  • Preparing conceptual layouts for supplemental and alternative safety measures at 20 rail crossings.
  • Providing context-sensitive urban design and landscape plans to enhance pedestrian safety, improve rail corridor aesthetics, and introduce historic interpretation features along the rail corridor.
  • Developing project cost estimates and negotiating multiple issues with BNSF Railway officials.
  • Preparing the formal FRA Quiet Zone application.
  • Securing the state and federal funding necessary to construct the project.
  • Completing rail safety studies, traffic signal preemption, and vehicle detection analysis and design.

As part of our work on the Fargo-Moorhead Quiet Zone project, SRF designed several supplemental (SSM) and alternative (ASM) safety measures. These included three-quadrant gates with a median, four-quadrant gates, closures, and medians across the two-mile corridor. All of these safety improvements were approved by the Federal Railroad Administration.

Final design of this project was completed by SRF and the quiet zone took effect in 2008.

Cities of Fargo and Moorhead
Fargo, North Dakota and Moorhead, Minnesota
Community Planning and Urban Design
Quiet Zones
International Downtown Association’s (IDA) Downtown Leadership and Management Award
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