Decreasing noise in downtown Moline


May 2018 to January 2019


Moline, Illinois, was founded on the banks of the Mississippi and has a deep history as an industrial city. Industrial growth brought railways to ship and receive goods throughout the country. More recently, the once industrial areas of the city have been redeveloped for commercial and residential uses. With this turnover and an increase in pedestrians downtown, the railroad noise has become an issue. Realizing the effect of train whistles on the downtown area, City of Moline officials reached out to Fehr Graham to study the potential of creating a "quiet zone" in the corridor. A quiet zone is a rail section with one or more public crossings where trains do not regularly sound their horns. These zones can only be made through the entity responsible for traffic control or law enforcement in an area. The prohibition of train horns in quiet zones does not apply at passenger stations or rail yards, during emergencies, or when complying with other Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) rules.

Our team gathered information from the City, FRA, Illinois Commerce Commission, Illinois Department of Transportation and government websites. To eliminate sounding horns, the City needed to assess and implement supplemental safety measures to eliminate additional risks to the traveling public.

Fehr Graham reviewed each at-grade rail crossing within the corridor and analyzed the safety risks. Our staff looked at the current and future traffic volumes, intersection and road geometries, commercial drive locations, pedestrian facilities and signalization. We also prepared conceptual improvement plans and cost estimates for each crossing in accordance with FRA guidelines. The City is currently considering the various options and investigating funding sources for the project.

» Prepared feasibility study.
» Prepared cost estimates.