The Illinois Department of Transportation announced that the Illinois chapter of the American Public Works Association has recognized the Ash Street underpass at its Project of the Year.
“We’re proud to bring home this award for the Ash Street underpass, which increases safety for motorists and pedestrians while laying the groundwork for improved passenger rail service and future freight traffic needs,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “We credit the success of the project to our collaboration with the city of Springfield, the Illinois Commerce Commission, and other stakeholders. Working together, we are improving the quality of life for Springfield. ”
The Ash Street underpass, which improves rail travel through Springfield along the Chicago-to-St. Louis corridor, took APWA’s top prize in the $5 million to $25 million category. The improvements upgraded the Norfolk Southern Railroad and added tracks for the Union Pacific Railroad. The project created additional track capacity to accommodate future freight traffic and passenger trains once the full project is complete.
The underpass includes a four-lane street with pedestrian accommodations. Removing the crossing improves safety, reduces congestion, and enhances access for vehicles and public transit.
“The Ash Street underpass is an illustration of progress for Springfield that improves pedestrian and vehicular access and safety through this east-west transportation corridor,” Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder said. “This recognition shows that when all levels of government work in partnership with the private sector —for the betterment of the community and its residents—the end result is a success.”