Little Canada orders preliminary plans for quiet zones

With a secured funding source, municipal ally and a knowledgeable consultant, Little Canada is ready to roll into the creation and implementation of railroad quiet zones within city limits.

At its May 28 meeting, the city council approved a bid from Short Elliott Hendrickson to prepare preliminary plans for the projected $1.25 million project, which will be financed with state bonding funds.

Project manager Dave McKenzie prepared the original quiet zone study that was presented to the city last month, and council members were eager to utilize the engineer’s prior knowledge of the subject to move the project along at a faster pace.

The budget for the preliminary plans, which are to be prepared within 60 days, is $16,000. The contract stipulates that for each day after the 60-day deadline, the fee will be reduced by $1,000, not including delays out of the agency’s control.

“We want to get this done post-haste,” city administrator Joel Hanson said at the meeting.

The plans will include a traffic count at the city’s six rail crossings, the development of two options for each crossing and cost estimates from the railroad, among other tasks.

After the preliminary plans have been drawn up, the city must submit them to the Minnesota Department of Transportation and Canadian Pacific Railway for comment. Those entities have 60 days to give feedback, at the end of which Little Canada can move forward with a final design plan to begin implementing improvements.

“If we move quickly, I’m reasonably hopeful that this could happen next summer,” Hanson added.

--Johanna Holub


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