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Downtown Bryan prepares for Quiet Zone Construction Project

Posted at 6:05 PM, Jun 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-11 19:05:55-04

BRAZOS COUNTY, TX — A quiet zone construction project has been years in the making for Downtown Bryan, and it's finally in motion.

While some people are looking forward to some peace and quiet. Others say the train's whistle is part of the tradition of the city.

Between working at a downtown barbershop and living in Downtown Bryan, Tyler Mallett is used to the sound of the train.

"The train does not bother me in the slightest. I notice it while I am awake," Tyler Mallett, Downtown Bryan resident said.

In fact, Mallett says, he may even miss it.

"Since downtown has history, and it has all the culture, you know the train was here before I moved in. It comes with downtown," Mallett said.

The city has finally been approved for $650,000 to begin construction. This project allows train conductors to pass through crossings without sounding their whistle.

"There will be train noise because a locomotive makes as it travels down the tracks but the whistles themselves, will not be sounded unless the engineer sees a threat," Sam Vernon, project manager, City of Bryan said.

Some downtown Bryan visitors can see how the whistle disrupts businesses and residents.

"It can be really a nuisance because you're conducting maybe interviews or conducting meetings of importance, and you have to pause and wait for the train to pass," Kristal Rabb, a visitor said.

"It just randomly comes. You never know when it's coming. You could be in the middle of sleep, and you're awakened by the sound. Or your baby is awakened by the sound and you just put the baby to bed," Diane Patrick, a visitor said.

The city first began putting wheels in motion for this project about five years ago but experienced a two-year delay, waiting for final approval.

And while the construction may be noisy, it won't be as loud as the train's whistle.

Phase one of construction is expected to begin before the end of July and will go on until about November.