The railroad crossing on Spencer Street, near Porter Street, will permanently close to traffic on Monday, May 23. Barricades will be in place to block the crossing until final improvements are in place.
The work will be completed by a contractor to the Michigan Department of Transportation Office of Rail as part of a project to improve the Michigan rail line from Battle Creek to Jackson.
However, the City Commission in February also approved the city’s request to close the Spencer Street crossing – along with those on Fountain and Division streets – as part of the city’s own project to implement a railroad quiet zone through the downtown area.
A quiet zone is a series of railroad crossings at which trains are prohibited from sounding their horns – unless there is an emergency or track obstruction. This is meant to decrease noise levels for homes and businesses near the tracks, and the project then involves increased safety measures at the crossings to compensate for the absence of the horns.