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Train horns to stop with barrier replacement

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Newman Signs employees work on concrete to replace bolts that will hold a pedestrian maze barrier on Friday morning on 1st Avenue South in Jamestown. With the barrier in place trains should now refrain from sounding horns in town. Tom LaVenture / The Sun2 / 2

A pedestrian maze barrier installed Friday means that trains will stop blowing their horns while going through Jamestown, according to Zachary Schultz, division manager of Newman Signs.

“It's all done and the horns should be shut off tonight (Friday),” Schultz said.

The pedestrian barriers on either side of 1st Avenue require pedestrians to turn left and right while walking through in order to observe for oncoming locomotives in either direction. Federal regulations require BNSF to sound horns going through the crossing without the barrier.

The pedestrian maze on the east side of the street was damaged on June 25 when a car left the road following a collision near the intersection of 1st Avenue South and 1st Street, according to Jamestown Police Department.

Schultz said that workers replaced bolts in the concrete and installed the new railing for the maze on Friday. The railing was made by MidMach, the same Jamestown metal fabrication company that was contracted to build the original iron structure in 2009.

A BNSF official was to check to see the barrier was completed on Friday afternoon, Schultz said. At that time the train engineers would be instructed to stop sounding horns in Jamestown, he said.

Amy McBeth, director of BNSF public affairs, confirmed by email on Friday that with the completion of the work, the routine sounding of the horns would stop as trains approach the crossings in Jamestown.

The cost of the maze barrier replacement is to be submitted to the insurance company of the individual who struck the barrier, according to the city street department.

The trains had been running without horns since 2011, after federal safety upgrades were completed at railroad crossings including six maze barriers at three crossings. The work followed a 2009 special election when Jamestown voters approved the quiet zone.