Closure of Ridgefield level crossing falls off the tracks

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Complaints about the noise of trains passing through the city are certainly not new, nor are complaints about their whistles and horns. Train horns range between 96 and 110 decibels, and the sound can carry for miles. Federal law requires that a horn be sounded at all public crossings for 15 to 20 seconds, 24 hours a day, to warn motorists and pedestrians of approaching trains.

Nearly six months after the overpass opened, the fate of the Division Street crossing remains uncertain. Frederickson said figuring it out was a challenge.

“What complicates things is that this is a Port of Ridgefield project that when completed is turned over to the city,” Frederickson said. “If you say there’s a problem and you go to the port, they say it’s a finished project, so it’s up to the city. If you go into town, they say, “The project was done by the port, we’re just taking it over. But of course they talk.

Frederickson noted that multiple agencies involved in addition to the city, port and BNSF made things even more difficult. These agencies include the Utility Transportation Commission, the Washington State Department of Transportation, and the Federal Railroad Administration.

Unlike the Mill Street crossing, the Division Street crossing must remain accessible to emergency vehicles so they can get to the waterfront if the overpass is closed.

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