The City of Staples wanted to investigate the possibility of creating a train whistle quiet zone at two identified at-grade rail crossings. The City selected SRF to conduct a Quiet Zone Assessment. During the Assessment process, it was learned that MnDOT was in the process of finalizing roadway improvement plans along 6th Street/Trunk Highway 210. Working closely with MnDOT personnel, SRF was able to incorporate medians into the MnDOT construction plans. The medians lowered the Quiet Zone Risk Index (QZRI) below the Risk Index With Horns (RIWH), and by including the medians into the MnDOT improvement plans, the City was able to get a quiet zone designation at a reduced cost.
The City Council approved the construction of the medians and related costs. Upon City Council approval, SRF completed and distributed the quiet zone Notice of Intent to interested parties. During the SSM design and construction phases, SRF completed and filed the Notice of Establishment with the FRA on behalf of the City in order to establish the two crossings as a recognized quiet zone.
Specific services provided to the client by SRF included on-site diagnostic fieldwork; coordinating project elements with state and federal approval agencies (FRA and MnDOT); developing project cost estimates with BNSF Railway and MnDOT officials; preparing the Quiet Zone Notice of Intent and Quiet Zone Notice of Establishment applications; and working closely with MnDOT personnel to include the supplemental safety measure (medians) into their construction plans.