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Dave Olson, Published September 09 2010

BNSF's nonstop work on train bridge disturbs residents

BNSF Railway is making repairs to a train bridge over the Red River between Fargo and Moorhead, a fact many residents living near downtown Moorhead learned the hard way Tuesday night.

Perhaps two dozen people or more called police to report a loud pounding sound that began after dark and continued for much of the night, according to City Engineer Bob Zimmerman.

Zimmerman said the city was aware the railroad was planning the work, which includes the use of pile drivers, and had intended to alert residents.

But, he added, except for a news release that appeared in The Forum on Sunday, the city never heard from the railroad as to when it specifically planned to start the nighttime work.

Zimmerman said the railroad could have decided to do the work only during daytime hours, a process that would have been noisy and disruptive of downtown traffic for months.

Instead, the railroad decided, with the city’s endorsement, to work 24 hours a day for five days to complete the necessary work, he said.

Tuesday was day one.

“We’ve got construction noise. Train-horn noise. All that going on,” Zimmerman said.

“In our opinion, it was certainly better to condense the time – even though it meant overnight work – than to drag it out for months,” Zimmerman added.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555