Schemmer conducted a quiet zone study, design and construction engineering services for the City of Waverly in an effort to reduce noise levels due to the trains that frequently pass through town. The railway aided to the development of the City into the 3,500-person community that it is today. However, the railroad quickly became problematic with upwards of 60 trains passing through per day, with horns blaring at the four crossings, which are in or near the city limits. The City had to either build a viaduct or cultivate a quiet zone, which would mitigate the sounding of horns in specific sections of the rail line, unless necessary for safety precautions. The latter idea was more cost effective, saving about 13 million dollars. Additionally, a viaduct would have shut down the City’s most common crossing for an extended period of time, whereas the quiet zone allowed traffic to remain open throughout construction.
The quiet zone study involved the analysis of various measures at the existing BNSF at-grade crossing of 141st Street, 148th Street and private crossing east of 148th Street. The recommendations contained in the study, included the construction of concrete, non-traversable medians located at the at-grade crossings on 141st and 148th Streets to prevent people from getting around the cross arms and compensate for the absence of a train horn. The private crossing was recommended for closure and construction of an alternate access off of 148th Street. The study was approved, and the City of Waverly contracted with Schemmer to continue with design of the improvements and administer construction activities. The Quiet Zone was implemented on September 12, 2013, and was a great success by not only improving safety, but improving the community’s quality of life.