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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hillsboro, Ill., cuts ribbon on rail spur

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 The ribbon is cut and work is well under way on a project six years in the making.

 Representatives from the City of Hillsboro, Ill., Union Pacific, Oberkramer Contracting and Hurst-Rosche Engineers joined Representative Betsy Hannig, Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig and Senator Deanna Demuzio in cutting the ribbon on the city's new railroad spur, located near the old Eagle Zinc site.


The spur, which will have room for 25 to 30 cars, will connect Hixson Lumber to the railway, as well as aid in the EPA clean-up of the Eagle Zinc location.

 The spur will follow the same course as tracks that ran to the old Hillsboro mine, although some work has had to be done to reinforce the ground where silt now lies.

The city worked with Wayne Borg and Dan Whithaus of Union Pacific to get the project off the ground and into the grant process. 

From there, Mayor Bill Baran contacted then-Representative Gary Hannig, who worked with IDOT on the grant. After receiving funding that was held up in legislation, Representative Betsy Hannig helped push through the bill, allocating $1.13 million dollars for the project. According to Mayor Baran, Senator Demuzio and the Hillsboro City Council were also key in the project, which is estimated to be in operation around Christmas.