BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Ask anyone who lives along the Florida East Coast Railway and they'll tell you, the sounds of those train horns hit you like … well, a train.
Relief for sore ears is now one step closer.
Last week, Brightline executives sent a memo to the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization, advising that construction of the supplemental safety measures required to establish the quiet zone in Broward County was finished.
The memo read, in part: "Quiet zones are quality of life improvements that can only be applied for by the cities or counties with jurisdiction over the adjacent roadway. As you know, Brightline has engaged in an aggressive safety outreach campaign over the past few years. Now is the time for cities and the county to start educating their residents and stakeholders on what the quiet zone will mean when implemented. We reemphasize our commitment to being your partner and educating the communities about rail safety."
The MPO announced it will be submitting the necessary paperwork to the Federal Railroad Administration to file the notice of establishment for the quiet zone along the 26-mile stretch of Florida East Coast Railway.
After a 21-day review period, the quiet zone is expected to go into effect at midnight on May 18.
Engineers will no longer sound the horns unless there's an emergency or threat near the tracks or there's construction in the area.
"This will be the longest single quiet zone in the country," MPO Executive Director Gregory Stuart said in a statement. "While this project came across many challenges and delays, I believe the resulting decrease in noise for our communities will have a very positive impact."
The work started in late 2016 with a public-private partnership between the MPO and Brightline, and work was expected to wrap up last summer.
If you take away the horns, federal regulations require they be replaced with other safety measures.
Broward MPO and Brightline officials said the improvements have been made at 24 crossings throughout the county.
"No Train Horn" signs have been delivered. We're told those will be going up at the crossings to alert drivers and pedestrians.
The quiet zone in Palm Beach County, from West Palm Beach to Boca Raton, went into effect last year.
Miami-Dade County officials said they were waiting for construction work along Northeast 16th Avenue, between Northeast 125th and 135th streets to be completed. That work was finished in March.
The county's transportation and public works department expects that the quiet zone item will go before the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners for a vote in June. At that time, we're told the notice of establishment (NOE) will be issued so that the quiet zone can be implemented from 79th Street to County Line Road.