Tri States Public Radio Staff
Wed March 3, 2010
Galesburg Rail Crossing Project Moves Forward
Galesburg, IL – The Galesburg City Council is moving forward with a multi-year, multi-million dollar upgrade of several major rail crossings.
Aldermen approved an agreement with Hanson Professional Services to conduct preliminary engineering for the North Kellogg/North Seminary Street rail overpass. The project is the second in a line of over/under pass projects due to get underway over the next few years.
The city will work with IDOT to construct rail overpasses on West Main street just west of downtown, and North Kellogg/North Seminary Streets. Crews will build an underpass on East Main near Academy Street.
City Manager Dane Bragg says the three projects will cost a total of $46 million. $33.5 million of that will come from Illinois' building and construction, or capital, plan. Nearly $3 million has also been secured from federal sources. Bragg says the Illinois Commerce Commission is donating, and BNSF is covering five percent of the cost of each project. The railroad's first donation to the city will be $750,000 for the West Main overpass.
Bragg expects the West Main project to go out to bid around October, but he's concerned that the majority of funding for these initiatives is coming from the state.
"What we intend to do, is we'll work through these very incrementally to ensure we're going to have the funds from the state before we actually go to construction on any of the projects."
Bragg expects the projects, which he says will greatly enhance the movement of people and emergency services through the city, to take up to six years to finish. That's if the funding comes through on time and construction goes smoothly.
Bragg says the city will need to shut down portions of Main, Kellogg and Seminary streets while the work is being done.