Thursday, June 06, 2013

Illinois Officials sign rail design work on 10th Street corridor

Illinois Officials sign rail design work on 10th Street corridor Illinois High-Speed Rail website

Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider, Springfield Mayor Michael Houston and Sangamon County Chairman Andy Van Meter signed an Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement (IGA) to advance design work as a part of the 10th Street Railroad Consolidation Plan.

Under the IGA, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will commit up to $8.65 million to support approximately half of the total design cost for the 10th Street corridor rail improvements. The funding is part of Gov. Pat Quinn's Illinois Jobs Now! capital program.

"Springfield is a vital connection for high-speed rail in Illinois," Gov. Quinn said. "This commitment advances our work with cities along the Chicago to St. Louis Corridor to upgrade rail service, improve infrastructure for safer travel and bring jobs and businesses to Illinois."

The 10th street corridor consolidation project through Springfield and the needed flyover project just south of Springfield are identified as part of the Chicago to St. Louis High-Speed Rail project. Currently, no funding has been identified for construction of these projects. The state of Illinois, however, is currently funding a detailed environmental analysis of the Springfield Flyover project. The project would include a new track alignment and railway flyover to grade separate the Union Pacific/Amtrak operations from the Norfolk Southern operations to eliminate train congestion and improve crossing delays for vehicular traffic.

The immediate improvements will include the 3rd Street corridor safety enhancements that will consist of four-quadrant crossing gates that will prevent cars from driving around lowered gates, as well as new grade-crossing approaches, fencing and bridge upgrades to improve rail traffic flow and increase safety in the area until construction is complete on the 10th Street corridor. These safety enhancements implemented through the High-Speed Rail program satisfy the requirements needed for the city of Springfield to be eligible to apply for a quiet zone. The 3rd street improvements are fully-funded by federal High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail program funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), with additional contributions from the State of Illinois and Union Pacific.

Approximately $1.75 billion of improvements are being completed by IDOT, Union Pacific and the Federal Railroad Administration, pursuant to a Cooperative Agreement funded by ARRA.