SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Thursday for a $20.9 million project in downtown San Diego intended to limit the noise from train horns - long the bane of area residents and visitors.
The event began with an exclamation point - a Coaster train went by and the engineer repeatedly blew the locomotive's horn.
The so-called "Quiet Zone" project will lead to safety enhancements at 13 railroad crossings, from Laurel Street to Park Boulevard
Improvements include the installation of medians, pedestrian curb ramps, roadway modifications, railroad interconnections, additional gates, fencing, paving and sidewalks.
Once the work is done the area will be a federally designated "Quiet Zone," meaning train engineers won't need to blow their horns as they approach each crossing.
Work is scheduled to be completed in November 2011.
The project is being funded through redevelopment dollars slated for downtown San Diego.
Downtown residents have long complained that the sound of train horns was preventing them from getting a good night sleep.
"It's very bad at night," said Dan Hough, who lives at City Front Terrace. "Freight trains go here and blow their whistles continuously as they go through the residential areas."
His wife, Georgia Hough, said she counted seven trains between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. the other night.
"Did you sleep last night?" is a constant joke among residents in the complexes elevators, she said.
"We're very happy to see this," Georgia Hough said. "We actually considered moving because of (the noise) but decided not to."
Downtown hotel officials say the jarring sound of train whistles is also driving visitors away.
"Residents who invest in homes downtown and tourists who spend their money here deserve a good night's sleep," said Councilman Kevin Faulconer, who represents the area.
Officials working on the project gave credit for getting the project started to Faulconer and his predecessors, Michael Zucchet and Byron Wear.
A group of North County lifeguards were honored Thursday night with the Medal of Valor for saving the life of a boater who wound up stranded on a jetty last October.
A San Bernardino man was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison for carrying out a credit/debit fraud scheme that targeted retail stores, restaurants and hotels throughout San Diego County, prosecutors announced Thursday.
The defense team of a Marine accused in a fatal stabbing on a California Marine Corps base argued Thursday that the death was a tragic accident and the two friends were playing around with a knife.
A San Diego County sheriff's deputy was free on bail Thursday following his arrest by Riverside County authorities on suspicion of lewd acts with a child.
Testimony continued Thursday in the civil lawsuit surrounding the mysterious death of Rebecca Zahau as her boyfriend Jonah Shacknai took the stand.
Some San Diego communities are pushing back against dockless bikes and scooters cluttering the streets and sidewalks.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer met with the Mexican foreign affairs secretary Thursday to discuss ways to improve economic prosperity and infrastructure, a spokeswoman said.
The Fred Hall Show is dubbed The Ultimate Outdoor Experience, featuring the hottest trends in outdoor recreation. Boating, fishing, camping, hunting, scuba diving and international travel with over 700 exhibits and interactive displays at Del Mar Fairgrounds.
Two more schools face threats Thursday morning in Vista and city leaders are taking new action to stop them.