ARLINGTON — Drivers along heavily traveled Collins Street will face some headaches and traffic delays for the next two weeks when construction gets underway to complete a railroad quiet zone near the entertainment district.But drivers and businesses should be happy with the end result because train horns will no longer sound in the quiet zone area once the work is finished.On Tuesday, Union Pacific Railroad will begin installing new gates and signals across Collins, just north of Abram Street. All three lanes will then have flashing lights, new gates and signage.Sana Syed, a spokeswoman for the city of Arlington, said there won’t be any detours, but there will be minimal lane closures and traffic delays from Tuesday to June 18.One lane should be open in each direction, she said.Raquel Espinoza, a spokeswoman for Union Pacific, said the work will be done during daylight hours.Quiet zones are in place to reduce train noise in nearby neighborhoods. Currently, there are quiet zones along Bowen Road and Davis, Cooper, Center and Mesquite streets.Businesses and residents wanted quiet zones in Arlington, Syed said.The city is spending approximately $310,000 on the railroad-crossing project as part of a $15 million plan to improve three major streets, including Lamar Boulevard and Park Row Drive.The Collins Street improvements include a median to keep drivers from going around the railroad crossing.Residents have asked the city for years to reduce train noise along the busy Union Pacific freight line, which cuts through the heart of Arlington. Quiet zones are already in place between Bowen Road and downtown rail crossings.Interest in quiet zones grew after a law was passed in 2005 requiring locomotives to sound their horns at all highway and railroad crossings. Trains are not supposed to blow horns through quiet zones unless there are pedestrians, animals, inattentive drivers or other risks around the crossing.This is the second time this year that Arlington motorists have ended up on the wrong side of the tracks when it comes to traffic at railroad crossings.In January, Union Pacific spent $30 million to renew 35 miles of track between Fort Worth and Dallas.During the project several of the at-grade crossings that motorists use to travel north and south of Division Street were closed simultaneously for days at time. This story contains material from the Star-Telegram archives.
Elizabeth Campbell, 817-390-7696 Twitter: @fwstliz