Quiet Zone Improvements
NEWS AND UPDATES...
The City and County of Broomfield and their contractor, Millstone Weber, began construction October 1 on the 112th Avenue Railroad Quiet Zone project.
When specific improvements are installed at locations where roads cross railroad tracks, trains are required to stop blowing their horns, except in the case of an emergency. The proposed roadway improvements will construct medians on either side of the railroad tracks, and widen the pavement at 112th Avenue for the Quiet Zone improvements. Following completion of the roadway improvements, BNSF Railway will complete railroad signal and gate improvements.
Roadway construction commenced on Thursday, October 1, 2020 and is expected to be complete by the end of October 2020. BNSF’s signal work is anticipated to start in spring 2021.
The contractor may perform work anytime between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and anytime between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturdays. Lane closures will be allowed between 9 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
OCTOBER 2020 UPDATE:
On January 14, 2020 Council approved an agreement with Millstone Weber, LLC for the construction of Quiet Zone Roadway Improvements at the Brainard Drive and W. 112th Avenue Railroad Crossings. Prior to starting construction BNSF and Broomfield must execute a Construction and Maintenance Agreement for both crossings. The Brainard Drive crossing agreement was approved in June and BNSF was given a Notice to Proceed to start work on the 4-Quadrant Gate system for that crossing. The Construction and Maintenance Agreement for the 112th Avenue Crossing was approved on September 22nd. A Notice to Proceed was issued to BNSF on September 23rd to begin work on the gate upgrades. A Notice to Proceed was issued to Millstone Weber on October 1st and work has begun on the 112th Avenue roadway improvements. Millstone Weber has 70 working days to complete the roadway work on the projects. BNSF needs approximately 6 months for their signal and gate system modifications. We anticipate that the Quiet Zones will be completed in late spring 2021.
The implementation of railroad Quiet Zones has been an important community request for many years. When specific improvements are installed at locations where roads cross railroad tracks, trains are required to stop blowing their horns, except in the case of an emergency. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) sets forth the requirements for Quiet Zone compliance. A specific plan is developed for each location which is approved by the FRA, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC), and agreed to by the railroad operating at that location. Requirements can include upgraded computer train controls at crossings, gates, flashing lights, medians, and curbs to ensure cars cannot drive around the gates when they are lowered.
There are four railroad crossings in Broomfield. They are located at Brainard Drive, Nickel Street, W. 120th Avenue, and W. 112th Avenue. As a part of the 120th Avenue Connection Project, Quiet Zones at Nickel Street and W. 120th Avenue were implemented in December 2016 and May 2018 respectively.
In 2016, the Northwest Corridor (US 36) Partners reached consensus on the use of Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) funding allocated per the Denver Council of Governments Resolution Number 20, 2008 - FasTracks Second Commitment in Principle (SCIP) funding for the Northwest Rail. The Northwest Partners include Longmont, Boulder County, the City of Boulder, Louisville, Lafayette, Broomfield, Westminster, RTD, and CDOT. The Northwest Partners agreed SCIP funds should be used to implement Quiet Zones along the BNSF Railway alignment of the future Northwest Rail.
Broomfield’s SCIP funding in the amount of $944,800 is proposed to be used to implement the final two Quiet Zones at the West 112th Avenue and Brainard Drive railroad crossings.
The federal funds represent 80% of the estimated IGA total of $1,181,000. Broomfield is required to provide a 20% match or $236,200 for both crossings. The local match for 112th Avenue is estimated to be $105,000, and the local match for Brainard Drive is estimated to be $131,200.
The 112th Avenue crossing is physically located in both Broomfield and Westminster and the Quiet Zone improvements at this crossing will benefit both Broomfield and Westminster residents. An IGA with Westminster was approved by City Council on November 13, 2018, to share the local agency match or approximately $105,000 ($52,500/$52,500) for the 112th Avenue Quiet Zone.