Normal Council Okays Underpass Option | WGLT

Normal Council Okays Underpass Option

Jun 19, 2017

The Town Council has approved the underpass concept and authorized further study.
Credit Farr Associates/Town of Normal

The Normal Town Council has approved an underpass option between Uptown and Uptown South. 

Council member Kevin McCarthy said he supports the construction of the underpass. He said he hopes the project will allow a safe way for people to cross the railroad tracks.

"People want to walk. They want to bike. They want to roller blade. Whatever they want to do is helping to provide the greatest access to the greatest number of people, but do it affordably," said McCarthy.

McCarthy said he also has concerns.

"Is it even possible based on engineering studies? How long will it take? And there are so many questions yet to be answered. There are more questions than answers at this point," said McCarthy.

Engineering firm WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff studied several options, including several underpass possibilities and overpasses. The firm recommended an underpass based on safety, the strength of the connection, and for economic development purposes. Public input favored the underpass option recommended by the consultants. High speed rail rules prevent an at-grade crossing.

Council member Kathleen Lorenz said the project lacked clarity and was not convinced by the outcome of a study suggested it was the clear winner.

Town officials say they are willing to wait for federal money to pay for the potential $13 million so local taxpayers don't have to.

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