Chicago Construction News staff writer
Construction has started on a $68.3 million underpass at Madison and Jefferson Streets in Springfield, a milestone for the Springfield rail improvements project, funded by the governor’s bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital program.
United Contractors Midwest of Springfield is the project contractor. The project will separate railroad tracks from vehicle traffic and reduce congestion, improve safety, improve access for bikes and pedestrians and reduce emergency response times in the area.
Work is expected to last about 14 months and will include:
- lowering Madison and Jefferson Streets
- building new railroad bridges to create a set of double tracks for the existing Norfolk Southern Railroad and the proposed Union Pacific Railroad and Amtrak lines.
- building underpasses
Funding for the improvements includes $13.5 million from the Federal Railroad Administration, $30.9 million from the Illinois Commerce Commission, $23.9 million from IDOT and $7.4 million from Rebuild Illinois.
The overall rail improvement project includes:
- streamlining railroad operations to reduce the impact of train traffic on the surrounding community
- relocating all passenger and freight traffic from the Third Street corridor to Tenth Street
- constructing underpasses and one overpass at key crossings on the 10th and 19th Street corridors
“Congestion in Downtown Springfield can be hectic, especially when the train crosses right through the town during peak traffic hours,” said State Senator Doris Turner. “Emergency vehicles have been delayed getting to and from the medical district, increasing the wait time when residents need medical assistance.
“This investment not only uplifts the city but also takes into account the safety, livability and development of Springfield for years to come.”
Rebuild Illinois was approved in 2019 with $33.2 billion for transportation system over six years.