City of Casselton going quiet this summerCasselton, ND (WDAY TV) - For years, the rumbling of trains has rocked downtown Casselton, creating a disturbance in what's otherwise a small, quiet place. Soon this town will be quiet all the time.
For years, the rumbling of trains has rocked downtown Casselton, creating a disturbance in what's otherwise a small, quiet place. Soon this town will be quiet all the time.
The pop of a cork and wine cascading into a glass are the usual sounds you hear at Maple River Winery in downtown Casselton…until the trains come through.
Ken Habiger – Maple River Winery: "In the winter when there are cold nights, it just echoes through everything. If you're out on the street, you have with someone because the whistles are so loud on them."
At least sixty trains pass through Casselton each day.
Ken Habiger: "Very annoying, very irritating."
A feeling shared by many in town. So about two years ago, city council passed an ordinance in support of a quiet zone.
Kevin Mayer – Public Works Superintendent: "The trains will stop blowing their horns if you do certain things that meet federal rail association requirements."
This summer, the city plans to put in medians at the intersections of 3rd Avenue and 1st Street South and 6th Avenue and Front Street, preventing drivers from going around cross arms.
Kevin Mayer: "It's just going to give everybody more comfort and peace of mind I guess."
Four gates will also go up at Highway 18 and Front Street. Gates and a median will go up at 15th Avenue and Front Street.
A chain link fence will also be installed from 6th Avenue to 9th Avenue along the tracks to prevent people from crossing when they shouldn't.
Kevin Mayer: "Because now people will still cross the tracks in front of the trains if they feel they can make it where now they won't be able to once it's all completed."
The project costs roughly $1.8 million. Sales tax revenues will pay for most of it over the next 15 to 20 years, an expense many don't mind.
Ken Mayer: "It'll be a lot quieter and safer."
Especially when you're enjoying a glass wine.
The city hopes to complete the quiet zone project by this fall. Safety improvements will also be made to a pedestrian crossing at 8th Avenue and Front Street.