Lake Zurich to Use $522,000 from CN to Build Noise Wall

Article excerpt

Byline: Bob Susnjara

Lake Zurich will construct a noise wall to protect some homeowners, using more than $500,000 received from Canadian National Railway through a legal settlement.

CN provided nearly $2 million to Lake Zurich for safety upgrades, noise reduction and other measures deemed necessary because of an expected increase in freight trains the company runs through the village. The federal Surface Transportation Board ordered CN to reduce train noise in certain areas.

Village trustees formally entered into the agreement in 2010, which stemmed from concerns over CN's controversial purchase of the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway. The line runs in a semicircle from Waukegan to Gary, Ind.

As part of the process involved with spending CN's cash, Lake Zurich officials received feedback from residents in affected neighborhoods on what they preferred in the way of noise protection.

Residents on Carolyn Court, just north of where East Main Street meets Route 22, expressed a preference for the noise wall. By a 5-0 vote, village trustees at a recent meeting agreed to pay $522,263 to the lowest responsible bidder, Woodstock-based Alliance Contractors Inc., for the barrier construction.

Although Alliance doesn't have specific noise wall construction experience, it's been deemed qualified to do the job in Lake Zurich, according to Mark Johnson, project manager with village engineering consultant Ciorba Group of Chicago. Alliance's specialties include work on retaining walls, sidewalks, bridges and box culverts. …