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City leaders mulling plan to reduce noise at rail crossings

TUPELO — Authorities in Tupelo are looking into establishing “quiet zones” at railroad crossings.

The plan would entail increasing security by installing crossing arms, and in some cases additional lights, at the crossings so engineers would not have to sound their horns as they move through the area.

WTVA-TV reports the project, if approved by the city council, would initially cost an estimated $138,000 for design.

“That would give you every crossing, what it would need to comply with the railroad requirements,” Tupelo Mayor Jack Reed Jr. said. “And then you can decide whether to do six this year, and six next year, how to split it up.”

If the 23 intersections were addressed officials estimate it could cost around $3.5 million. The mayor said a 30-year bond could pay for that if the design proposal is approved by the Tupelo City Council.

The plan would be welcomed by residents who have complained about being awakened by train horns in the early morning hours.

“It’ll be 2 a.m., 3 a.m., 4 a.m., when you’re trying to sleep and all you can hear is the noise of the train,” resident Jeremy Wiggins said. “And they make a lot of noise anyway, but you add to that the fact that the horns and brakes… it just makes a lot of noise and is uncomfortable living near the tracks sometimes.”



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