Quiet Zone Improvements
NEWS AND UPDATES..
BNSF completed their work to upgrade their railroad gates and control equipment at 112th Avenue. Broomfield, Millstone Weber, and BNSF completed the traffic signal interconnect at 112th Avenue and Wadsworth Blvd to synchronize the traffic signal operation with the railroad gate and set the new railroad gates. Millstone Weber will return to finish the median ends and other wrap up items. They have had difficulties scheduling the BNSF Railroad Flagger. They are tentatively scheduled to complete the work by the end of September.
BNSF is waiting on Xcel Energy to bring power to the new gate system at Brainard Drive to complete that Quiet Zone. This was delayed due to easement acquisition issues between BNSF and Xcel Energy that has been recently resolved. Xcel’s work is underway.
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.