Pascagoula considers 'quiet zone' to stop train noise - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Pascagoula considers 'quiet zone' to stop train noise

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PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) -

If you live or work near a train track in Pascagoula, the sound of a train horn should be pretty familiar. Currently, federal law requires trains to sound their horns at all public crossings, 24 hours a day, as a warning signal. For business owners like Gerrie Hicks, the noise is a nuisance.

Hicks owns a wig shop in the downtown district and said the horns always disturb business.

"It hurts my ears," she said. "The other day, I had to tell my customer to call me back because you can't hear with these trains."

The library is also just feet away from the railroad track and some workers are bothered by the loud horns.

"Often times our youth services people have to stop and wait for trains to pass," Pascagoula Library public relations official Rex Bridges said.

City engineer Jaci Tuner said Pascagoula is now considering turning the railroad crossings to the east and west of the city into a quite zone.

"The concept is if you can increase physical safety at the crossings to counteract for the lack of a train horn, then you can request the trains not to blow their whistle at every intersection," said Turner.

Construction could cost up to $1 million or more for the project.

"We are currently trying to set aside about $1.5 million, but we are hoping it will be less than that. Not sure how it will be funded at this point; that is what we're discussing."

Hicks hopes the city can get some state or federal dollars to help.

"They can have grant money or something to solve this problem," said Hicks.

Thursday, the Pascagoula City Council is expected to discuss the project and possible funding sources.

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