‘It’s so loud, it’s painful,’ Railroad crossings near downtown are getting a makeover

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Twelve railroad crossings near downtown are getting a makeover.

"It's painful. It's so loud that it's painful when you're out on the patio trying to enjoy yourself and then this blaring train comes through."

Hilbilly Po' Boys is no more than 10 feet from train tracks on NW 9th street near Broadway.

They say the loud sound of the horn affects their customers.

And they're not the only ones ready for the blaring noise to go away.

The City of Oklahoma City approved an almost $4 million project to quiet the trains.

It was supposed to be complete by the end of 2015.

"There was a step in between Lacey where we had to go to the Corporation Commission to get their approval to do this, and that is just process and process takes time," Meg Salyer,  city councilperson for Ward 6 said.

According to the Federal Railroad Administration engineers must sound warning whistles at least 15 seconds and not more than 20 seconds in advance of all crossings.

The new multimillion dollar plan will make certain tracks safer for drivers.

"We are working with three different levels of closing those at grade crossings to close or seal off the corridor.

Here's how it will work:

  • Five crossings will be closed completely including 15th, 14th, and 12th streets.
  • 10th street will have a quad gate.
  • Five streets will have medians to make it impossible for cars to try to get around the tracks.
  • The silencing of the blaring horns can't come soon enough for Ferris O’Brien, owner of the Spy radio station and downtown resident.

"It seems like there's no reason behind it. Each conductor blows their horn a certain way," O’Brien said.

Once construction on the railroads is complete, it has to be approved by the Federal Railroad Commission.

Click here for more information on rules and regulations for creating a quiet zone.

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