Monday, January 7, 2013

Traffic shutdowns and more than a bit of noise might be issues for Arlington track repairs

Noise from the rattling of trains has never been an issue for Joanna Sherman in the 10 years she’s lived relatively close to the rail line along Division Street. Noise from the Union Pacific Railroad’s track renewal project might be a different matter as it gets underway later this month.
At some point a crew of some 250 people working with big trucks, vehicles and a piece of rail equipment known as the TRT 909 which spans several miles, will be close enough to her neighborhood that she’ll probably hear them while getting ready for work in the morning and when she returns in the evening.
According to the schedule released by the UP, beginning Wednesday, Jan. 16, the Bowen Street grade crossing will close as UP work crews begin the process of replacing the old wooden railroad ties with the newer and more modern concrete ones along a 13-mile stretch of rail running parallel to Division Street.
The Davis crossing is expected to close on Jan. 17, with Cooper, Center and Mesquite closing on Jan. 18, at which point five railroad crossings will be closed at one time. As the project continues to move east, Union Pacific says it is committed to opening Bowen before closing Collins and before Stadium closes, Davis should open.
Each crossing will be completely reconstructed, meaning a smoother approach and crossing surface for vehicles. According to Union Pacific, concrete ties enables trains to operate more smoothly, more efficiently and with less noise.
Since Sherman lives south of the rail lines and travels that direction to get to I-20 for work in Fort Worth, her daily commute won’t much change.
“We’re up and out of the house early anyway so I don’t think noise will be an issue, except on Saturday,” she said. “But I would like to know how much noise and how long will they be here in the evening.”
City of Arlington Marketing and Communications manager Rebecca Rodriguez said the crews are working a 12 hour workday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. but they could start setting up as early as 5:00 a.m.
“There are two ways to look at that,” said Rodriguez. “Yes, it means there will be some long, noisy days along the track, but on the other hand, by working those shifts, the UP’s crews should be able to move this project along at the pace the railroad said it would.”
Drivers can find a detailed detour map at and get recent updates by following the City of Arlington on Twitter @CityOfArlington #TrackRenewal. You can also sign up for email updates at or visit
(City news release)

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