OGDEN, Iowa—The Ogden City Council has voted to accept a bid to install “Quietzone” features in their community. The action was taken at Tuesday’s City Council meeting following a brief public hearing that saw a number of residents speak out in favor of a “Quietzone” for their community. A “Quietzone” means that physical features would be constructed at grade crossings on the Union Pacific Railroad’s main line, that would prohibit vehicles and pedestrians from going around barriers and crossing the tracks. The addition of such features means that the city can ask that train whistles not be used to warn traffic at crossings about the approaching train.
The “Quietzone” issue in Ogden has been going on for some time, and finally went to bid earlier this year. Godbersen-Smith Construction from Ida Grove submitted a low bid at that time of $222,000. Since the bid was well over the engineers estimate of $184,000, the Council rejected all bids and then asked the project to be rebid with an extended time frame for completion. The hope was that more contractors would bid and bring in a lower cost. That did not work. Godbersen-Smith was the only contractor to rebid and increased the low bid to $239,000.
A significant majority of residents that spoke urged the Council to proceed with the project, regardless of the cost. Proceeding with the project was approved unanimously by the Council. Following the receipt of the proper permits and the usual procedures tied to the Federal Railroad Authority and the Union Pacific Railroad, it’s hoped that work could begin on the physical features this fall. The project is to be paid for with the city’s Local Option Sales Tax proceeds.