Quiet crossing work to begin in Hastings

Construction is scheduled to begin this month on the first railroad crossing included in the city’s BNSF Railway quiet crossing project.

The Hastings Avenue crossing will be the first to see work. Ben Engel Construction of Hastings was awarded the contract for the Hastings Avenue crossing as well as the Pine Avenue crossing.

The work is scheduled to begin in May, but the actual starting date is contingent on the contractor’s schedule.

In addition to the two crossings to be addressed by Ben Engel Construction. Werner Construction of Hastings has the contract for Lincoln, Denver and California avenues.

Work on Hastings and Pine avenues is scheduled to be completed this fall. Work on Lincoln Denver and California avenues is anticipated to be completed by June 1, 2024. The crossings at Colorado and Elm avenues will be bid at a future date. It is the city’s hope that the work on all seven of the crossings will be completed by the end of 2024. 

The project involves construction of 100-foot concrete medians and 60-foot barrier curbs, which are standard safety measures required by the Federal Railroad Administration for quiet zone implementation.

Although work is scheduled to begin soon, the quiet crossings take effect only after construction is complete on all the crossings and appropriate paperwork is filed with the FRA for the quiet crossing designation.

Once the quiet crossings are in effect, BNSF Railway train horns will typically be limited in that area to when something is on the tracks or during switching activity.

Amtrak trains will also continue to blow their horns when entering and existing the Hastings depot.

The Hastings Avenue work also includes complete replacement of Hastings Avenue to South Street.

Pine Avenue is part of the first phase because of sidewalk work to make that crossing compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Hastings Avenue is the first crossing to be addressed to allow for the repaving of the block south of the tracks.

Work on the railroad quiet crossings is funded by the city’s current half cent sales tax that was approved by 81.55% of voters in September 2017.