Construction Update: 2nd Avenue

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- It's pretty hard to miss the sound of a train coming through downtown Cedar Rapids.

And starting this week, the city will start working with the Union Pacific Railroad to finish converting a two-way avenue.

The crossing arms that will be put in place here will make it safer since cars will not be able to get onto the track when trains are coming.

Work is currently taking place on 2nd Avenue Southeast.

2nd Avenue will remain open during construction, but one lane of the road is still closed between 3rd Street and 2nd Avenue to 4th Street and 2nd Avenue.

The city is coordinating with the Union Pacific Railroad Company to do their work at the railroad crossing, but the actual construction will start this week or next week.

That work will consist of putting in new crossing arms and flashers on both sides of the road to allow for two-way traffic in downtown Cedar Rapids.

This is still part of the city's move from one-way to two-way travel so traffic can flow in both directions downtown.

They say the added gates and arms at the train tracks will eventually cut down on noise too.

"It's part of us setting up for a future quiet zone in the downtown area which will help to reduce the number of times trains have to blow their whistles," City Engineer Nate Kampman said.

The city says they are still a few years away from applying for a quiet zone, but they have plans to eventually put one between1st Avenue through 5th Avenue and will eventually extend it to the NewBo area.

Each railroad crossing costs about $350,000 to complete.

The city says each crossing could take a month to finish.

Most of these railroad crossings should be completed by September. 

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