City council to revisit closing Wilson railroad crossing

The Jefferson city council will revisit railroad quiet zones at one of its March meetings, with discussion centered on closing the Wilson crossing.

Quiet zones through Jefferson has been talked about for several years. Last July the council heard comments from many residents on the subject, with more in favor of making changes needed so train engineers don’t have to sound their horns as they go through Jefferson.

At time meeting, a civil engineer provided traffic counts and costs for the various supplemental safety measures needed for a quiet zone. The council learned later that the cost estimate for installing wayside horns was incorrect at $25,000, and is actually more than twice that amount. The council has not taken action since then.

The topic was on the agenda for the council’s water/sewer/street/sanitation committee meeting Feb. 21. City administrator Mike Palmer suggested closing the Wilson crossing. The May 2016 traffic count showed an average of 505 crossings per day, Monday through Friday. That is 5 percent of the crossings. Only the Maple St crossing is less used.

“I think we should pursue it. I think we should keep charging ahead wherever we can,” committee member Gary Von Ahsen said.

Cost of closing a crossing is about $14,000, while the city would receive $23,000 from Union Pacific railroad and the state for doing it. Palmer suggested setting the additional money aside for future supplemental safety measures at the Grimmell Road and Cedar St crossings.

Click here for the recap of the discussion last July.


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