The dollar amount for a railroad overpass has been casting a shadow over Des Plaines, Ill., officials for a while now, but it appears the fear is no longer there.
Removing an at-grade crossing at Algonquin Road has been talked about over the years, but nobody wanted to take on the $35-$40 million price tag. That attitude changed this week, when the Des Plaines City Council approved more than $1 million to hire an engineering firm to study how the overpass can happen.
TranSystems Corp. will handle the Phase 1 study, which could take up to nine months to complete. The engineering firm will look into various aspects of the overpass such as the location of it and if construction will require moving utilities. If Phase 1 is accepted a more detailed engineering plan would be drawn up and construction would soon follow.
TranSystems was actually hired to do an underpass feasibility study back in 2009. That study revealed the best place for the structure would be at Algonquin Road over Union Pacific tracks between Mount Prospect and Wolf roads.