Florida Hospital is making final improvements to the rail crossings in the Health Village area to allow for a rail quiet zone.
Rail quiet zones mean that train horns will not be routinely sounded when approaching the crossing.
Trains are required by federal law to sound their horn between 15 and 20 seconds before reaching a crossing if it’s not in a quiet zone.
In quiet zones horns can still be used for emergency reasons.
Florida Hospital paid for needed improvements at the intersections near the hospital including the crossings at Princeton St, Rollins St, King St. and Wilkinson St.
Improvements include safety features such as adding extra crossing arms or medians to prevent cars and pedestrians from crossing when the gate is down.
Jody Barry, Director of Strategic Development for Florida Hospital tells Bungalower that they have one more crossing arm to add to the Princeton St crossing.
Once that is done Florida Hospital will notify the City to apply for the quiet zone through the Federal Rail Authority.
The quiet zone should be operational sometime in August or September.
The crossings in Health Village aren’t the only ones that are being looked at to become part of quiet zones.
MetroPlan has been working with the City of Orlando and the other cities that are part of SunRail phase 1 to determine what improvements need to be made to include all 92 crossings in the area into quiet zones. MetroPlan estimates the improvements will cost $15.6 million.
The state has allocated $10 million available to fund quiet zones for the entire state. The grant requires a 50% local match.
The City of Orlando is in the process of applying for some of that funding to turn the crossings along the SunRail route within the City into quiet zones.
“Long term we will treat every crossing eventually, but we know that the funding probably will not cover them all from this particular grant,” Cassandra Lafser, a spokesperson for the City told Bungalower.
The state is expected to announce the grant recipients at the end of October.