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Uptown Railroad Crossing Options To Get Further Study

Town of Normal

The Town of Normal is providing more detailed guidance to consultants studying a proposed pedestrian railroad crossing at Uptown Station. 

The Town Council Monday night approved eight alternative pedestrian-rail crossings for further study by WSP | Parsons Brinkerhoff.

Options include doing nothing, an at-grade crossing along the former path of the Constitution Trail, three bridge options, and three underpass options. 

City Manager Mark Peterson said costs will be a major part of the second phase of the alternative analysis.

"Both construction and maintenance costs are considerations that will ultimately be part of whatever the committee recommends to the council as the best alternative," said Peterson. 

Multiple public comment speakers voiced their concerns about the cost-benefit of the project. An elevated crossing could cost $8.5 million and an underpass would cost more than $12 million.

Peterson also said staff is already introducing the project to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Peterson said there's a lot of uncertainty regarding funding.

Credit Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT
City Manager Mark Peterson during the Feb. 6 Normal Town Council meeting.

"The President has indicated very strongly that one of his priorities is to put forth a very large transportation funding bill. It's a priority to get that through the Congress and begin funding infrastructure projects such as this one," said Peterson. 

Peterson said Trump's talk of a bill is very encouraging and staff will monitor the funding situation closely. Peterson added residents will still have to be patient because simply securing funding for the project could take two to four years to fund. 

Peterson said there will be an opportunity for the public to receive and discuss the detailed information later this Spring.

The study by WSP | Parsons Brinkerhoff should be complete late next year. 

Mike joined GLT's staff as a student reporter in February of 2016 having worked previously as a reporter at Illinois State University's student radio station, 103.3 WZND. He acted as a director for the WZND newsroom for two years. Mike was also seen as a reporter, producer, and anchor at TV-10 News. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism in May of 2017 before starting his post-graduate career with the Public Affairs Reporting Masters Program at University of Illinois Springfield.
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