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The City continues moving forward with the Downtown Quiet Zone project on the west set of railroad tracks running through Olathe. The project entails installing additional safety modifications at rail crossings, fencing, and closing three less traveled crossings. As a result, trains will no longer be required to sound horns while passing through the area.
The project includes installing new center medians on Woodland, Harold, Mulberry, Loula and Dennis Streets that would prevent vehicles from driving around lowered gates. In addition, four quadrant gates that completely block vehicles when lowered are planned for Santa Fe, Park and Elm Streets. Cedar, Poplar and Prairie crossing are set to be closed.
Each day, about 88 trains pass through Olathe on the western tracks crossing 11 intersections. Trains are required to sound horns for 20 seconds as they pass each crossing equating to about five hours of horn blasts in the city, including the downtown area.
A meeting, scheduled for 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on March 5th at City Hall, is designed to update the public on plans for the project, answer questions and seek comment. Construction is anticipated to begin this summer once the railroad completes their portion of the project. For more information about the project, visit projects at www.olatheks.org or click here.