Work Begins on Quiet Zone Improvements in Downtown Canby

Construction work finally began this week on the long-awaited railroad quiet zone improvements at three downtown Canby intersections, a project that will also include building an arch over North Grant Street.

The project will install new safety mechanisms and other upgrades to the railroad crossings at Elm, Grant and Ivy streets — and make it so train engineers are no longer required to sound their horns at each intersection. They may still sound the horn in emergency situations or to comply with other federal rules.

The quiet zone project will include installing additional railroad flashing lighting and horns to alert pedestrians of an approaching train, as well as a 12-inch concrete curb to separate travel lanes and prevent traffic from crossing over to avoid the railroad gates.

In addition, all sidewalk crossings will be upgraded to meet ODOT and Union Pacific clearance requirements, and roadway connections will be repaved between Highway 99E and 1st Avenue.

As a result of these improvements, trains will no longer be required to use their horns as they enter the Elm Street, Grant Street or Ivy Street crossings.

The quiet zone, which has been in the works for decades, is aimed at improving economic development and livability in the city’s downtown core — as is the Grant Street Arch.

Custom-designed by Scott|Edwards Architecture and blending two design concepts (PNW-style flagstone pillars and an arch inspired by the iconic Encinitas Archway in California), leaders hope the gateway arch will entice motorists on Highway 99E to visit downtown Canby and help fuel the corridor’s continued economic revitalization.

Canby City Administrator Scott Archer and Public Works Director Jerry Nelzen explained this week that the project is being conducted in several phases and that work will be concentrated on one crossing at a time to minimize traffic disruptions as much as possible.

Construction began with Elm Street, which will also be widened to better facilitate truck traffic. It’s being done in two phases, the first of which is anticipated to be completed by Oct. 15, depending on weather, and the second by Nov. 5.

Traffic control plans for both phases is included below:

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