Durbin, Stratton Join Local Officials to Cut Ribbon On Latest Completed Segment of Springfield Rail Improvements Project
The 5th & 6th Street Bridges, Stanford to 6th Rail Corridor Included
SPRINGFIELD – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today attended the ribbon cutting for the new 5th and 6th Street Bridges, which are part of the Springfield Rail Improvements Project. The 5th and 6th Street Bridges Project includes new double-track bridges for the Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific corridors at 5th and 6th Streets. It also includes grading, drainage, and trackwork from north of 6th Street to Stanford Avenue. This project improves rail safety and vehicle height restrictions on the heavily-trafficked Business 55 Loop for the roughly 11,000-12,000 vehicles that pass through 5th and 6th streets each day.
“The new 5th and 6th Street Bridges take us one step closer to a more efficient rail system in Springfield that will dramatically reduce delays and congestion,” said Durbin. “The Springfield Rail Improvements Project will benefit not only the local community, but the entire region, and I’ve been a longtime supporter of it. This is a perfect example of state, local, and federal dollars working together to improve our community, and I will continue to do all I can to bring more federal dollars home to Illinois so we can continue to improve our infrastructure.”
“Today’s ribbon cutting celebrates an upgrade to a critical link in our state’s rail network,” said Duckworth. “The completion of the 5th and 6th Street Bridges means improved reliability and safety for both rail and roadway users, and I’ll keep working with Senator Durbin to make sure Springfield and communities in every corner of our state receive the federal support they need to create good-paying jobs, ensure safer transit and improve infrastructure.”
“Since I signed the historic, bipartisan Rebuild Illinois plan into law, the state’s infrastructure has been completely revitalized,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “In that time, we have invested $8.6 billion in roads, rails, bridges, and other critical infrastructure across the state. I’m thankful for the seamless cooperation of levels of government on this project, which will improve safety conditions and travel efficiency for all of those who pass through 5th and 6th Street in Springfield each day.”
“Improving bridges, rails, and roads is about more than pathways that take us from one point to another, it’s also about connecting people. The bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital program is providing ways to better join regions across the state by investing in our communities,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “Thanks to the hard work and leadership of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and Mayor Jim Langfelder, people in Sangamon County and beyond will feel the impact of this project. We are collaborating at the city, state, and federal levels to build a greater Illinois with communities at the forefront.”
“These bridges will lead to an easier commute, better response times for emergency vehicles and more reliable public transportation as well as overall enhanced safety and quality of life for residents,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “This project represents a true collaboration, with contributions from community stakeholders and our railroad partners all the way up to the local, state and federal levels.”
“Stanford, along with Fifth and Sixth Street, are important transportation corridors for the City of Springfield, connecting interstates to our downtown core. The completion of Usable Segment IV, including the rail bridges along 5th and 6th Street will have a significant economic impact to our community,” stated Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder. “The Springfield Rail Improvements Project is an important public-private partnership that is transforming the travel experiences of our residents, businesses, and visitors in our capital city. We appreciate Senator Durbin’s long-standing support of our rail initiative, along with our other federal and state leaders, for the critical funding to continue this progress and making our goal of rail consolidation by 2025 a reality.”
The latest completed portion of the Springfield Rail Improvements Project is Usable Segment IV, which includes the Stanford to 6th rail corridor and the 5th and 6th Street rail bridges. Nearly half of this segment is federally funded with Durbin helping to secure a $22 million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant. IDOT provided $19.1 million with the City of Springfield contributing $3.7 million toward the project.
The Springfield Rail Improvements Project will alleviate rail congestion in downtown Springfield by consolidating train traffic from 3rd Street to 10th Street by building a series of new underpasses and overpasses at critical rail crossings. An underpass at Carpenter Street was completed in 2016, an underpass at Ash Street opened in 2019, and an underpass at Lauren Street opened in 2021.
Durbin has secured more than $80 million in federal funding for the overall Springfield Rail Improvements Project since it began back in 2014, including the most recent $19.8 million RAISE grant to construct a new grade separation underpass at North Grand Avenue over the Norfolk Southern and Illinois Midland rail lines.
In 2021, President Biden signed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the most significant investment in our transportation infrastructure in decades. Along with providing $17 billion to Illinois, this historic legislation will lead to more funding opportunities for projects like the Springfield Rail Improvements Project and other federal grants to improve transit, highways, bridges, airports, broadband, and water infrastructure.
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