The City of Moorhead has evaluated two potential quiet zones. The first zone affects four crossings along the Moorhead and Prosper subdivision of the BNSF Railway (BNSF), which follows 20 St. This stretches from 12 Ave S to 40 Ave S. The second zone affects six crossings along the Otter Tail Valley Railroad (OTVR), which follows SE Main Ave. This stretches from Oak Way to 40 Ave S. These quiet zones would be independent of the existing quiet zones in Downtown Moorhead that extend from the Fargo-Moorhead border to 14 St.
The intersection of SE Main Ave & 20/21 St, the location of a proposed grade separation (underpass), is not included in either zone because the improvements necessary to silence train horns are not feasible due to the physical configuration of the intersection. As a result, if these two quiet zones are implemented prior to the grade separation project, train horns will still sound at this intersection.
A project summary and survey were sent to properties in the train horn impact zone in late February, 2016 and a public input meeting was held on March 3, 2016. The links below provide a summary of public input received and the recommended path forward for each quiet zone. On May 9, 2016, the City Council concurred with the following recommendations:
- 20 St/BSNF Quiet Zone: Do not proceed as a stand-alone project and do not use special assessments to finance improvements. Construct quiet zone crossing improvements when this work can be combined with other scheduled projects adjacent to the crossing (e.g. 12 Ave S improvements scheduled for 2020). Quiet zone implementation in 2021 to 2022 timeframe.
- SE Main Ave/OTVR Quiet Zone: Do not proceed as a stand-alone project and do not use special assessments to finance improvements. Construct quiet zone crossing improvements when this work can be combined with other scheduled projects adjacent to the crossing. At this time no projects in this study area are scheduled so the time frame is unknown.