Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ground breaks to eliminate major bottleneck in Missouri

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A groundbreaking in Osage, Mo., has taken place for a new railroad bridge that will eliminate one of the worst rail bottlenecks in the country. The $28 million project received $22.6 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation's High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program.

Construction on the new railroad bridge across the Osage River will add capacity and reduce delays for more than 600 daily passengers on Amtrak trains traveling between Kansas City and St. Louis and move more than 60 trains through the 283-mile line each day.

The new 1200-foot bridge, located just east of Jefferson City in Osage City, will unclog a major bottleneck that was caused by partial single tracking in that area. When the bridge is complete, the rail corridor between St. Louis and Jefferson City will consist entirely of two mainline tracks that will allow four Amtrak passenger trains and some 60 freight trains to pass through the area unimpeded.

"The improvements being made to this corridor will provide the people of Missouri with faster, more convenient connections to cities throughout the Midwest and help strengthen the economy throughout the region," said Deputy Federal Railroad Administrator Karen Hedlund.

The line is part of the Midwest Regional Rail Network, which is located in one of five densely populated mega-regions (areas already overwhelmed by congestion and in need of better transportation options). Bringing safe, fast, convenient, affordable high-speed rail to these areas will create jobs, increase economic opportunities and relieve congestion.

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