Downtown 'Quiet Zone' Project Delayed

$20.9M Project To Be Pushed Back To Late Spring, CCDC Says

Completion of the downtown Quiet Zone program, in which new equipment is being installed at railroad crossings so train engineers aren't compelled to blast their horns in the middle of the night, has been pushed back to late spring, the Centre City Development Corp. announced Thursday.

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The $20.9 million project is being slowed by the numerous complex tests that need to be performed at each crossing and equipment delivery delays, according to the agency.

Completion had been planned for early March.

Under current federal regulations, train engineers are required to sound their horns when approaching road crossings. The noise is a primary complaint of downtown residents, hotel guests and business owners.

"We absolutely recognize the importance of this project to downtown residents, as well as the economic impact on our region when our hotels and businesses are adversely affected," said Kim Kilkenny, the CCDC chairman. "We remain committed to delivering the project safely and within the approved budget and we will continue to keep the public apprised of its progress."

In the Quiet Zone project, workers are installing and testing new gates, medians, traffic signals and warning lights at all downtown San Diego crossings from Fifth Avenue to Laurel Street. When federal authorities sign-off on the completed project, train engineers will no longer be required to blare their horns.

The first safety tests were performed in July, and two have been completed. The CCDC announced the third will take place early next month.

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