The $16.1-million Illinois Jobs Now! grade separation project in Galesburg, Ill., is now complete. The new grade separation eliminates the at-grade crossing along Main Street and creates a new overpass spanning from east of Academy Street to west of Garfield Avenue and over BNSF tracks.
This collaborative endeavor between the Federal Highway Administration, the state of Illinois, the city of Galesburg and BNSF created or supported nearly 140 jobs and is set to reduce traffic congestion and emissions and improve roadway and rail safety in the region.
“If we want to compete in the global economy, Illinois must have a world-class transportation system,” Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said. “This grade separation improvement will cut down travel times, alleviate traffic and rail congestion and improve safety in Galesburg for decades to come. Not only did this project boost the regional economy and put hundreds of people back to work, it provides a solid foundation to address traffic demands well into the 21st century.”
The project separated the current at-grade crossing at the double set of BNSF tracks located on West Main Street by constructing a new roadway overpass for vehicles. The new West Main Street segment also consists of five lane approaches, retaining walls on overpass, new traffic signaling, street lighting and a four-lane bridge deck with additional pedestrian improvements, including a safety fence, sidewalks, curb cuts, aesthetics and landscaping. Construction on the project started in July 2011.
Main Street is the second busiest street in Galesburg, with nearly 100 trains utilizing the crossing at speeds of 30 miles-per-hour each day. Approximately 9,400 vehicles drive on West Main Street each day. Prior to the project, the average time for a vehicle to wait at a train crossing was four to five minutes.
The project received an investment of $14.5 million from Gov. Quinn’s six-year, $31-billion Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program. Those funds supported $809,000 from the Federal Highway Administration and $806,150 from BNSF.