Springfield awarded federal grant for rail project
U.S. Reps. Darin LaHood (R-IL) and Rodney Davis (R-IL) announced today that the City of Springfield was awarded a $22 million federal grant for construction of the Springfield Rail Improvements Project. A Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will be used for the Usable Segment IV of the project. This announcement follows a letter of support from LaHood and Davis and a site visit from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Administrator Ron Batory earlier in the year.
“Today is an extraordinary day for the City of Springfield, the local economy, and for the future of our community’s infrastructure. The news from Secretary Chao today that Springfield has earned $22 million in BUILD grant funds to accomplish the Usable Segment IV for Springfield Rail Improvements Project is welcome news for all local, state, and federal entities who have worked so hard in securing this opportunity. With this award, the city will take a giant step forward in efforts to more effectively and efficiently travel by rail through our state’s capital, improve the flow of traffic, and provide an opportunity to fully-develop Springfield’s medical district,” stated Rep. Darin LaHood. “I want to applaud Secretary Chao, the US Department of Transportation, my colleague Rep. Rodney Davis, our US Senators, and all local officials who have worked so diligently to bring home this highly sought-after award. I look forward to seeing this project move forward and bring about safer, more efficient travel to the 5th and 6th Street underpasses and rail bridges that carry the 10th Street corridor traffic.”
"This is a major step forward for this project," said Davis. "I appreciate the administration working with us and the City of Springfield over the last several years to keep this project moving. Having FRA Administrator Ron Batory come to Springfield earlier this year and see the project first-hand has helped us ensure Washington understands the local and national significance of this project. I look forward to construction of Usable Segment IV beginning soon."
The Springfield Rail Improvements Project will improve public safety, traffic congestion, community livability, and commercial development in the capital’s downtown. Usable Segment IV consists of two new bridges at 5th Street and at 6th Street. It also includes grading, drainage and trackwork from north of 6th Street to Stanford Avenue.
Statement below from Sangamon County Board Chairman Andy Van Meter in response to the announcement today by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao that the Springfield Rail Improvements Project will receive a $22M BUILD (previously known as TIGER) grant for the construction of Usable Segment IV. Usable Segment IV work will consist of the construction of rail corridor improvements between Ash Street and Stanford Avenue and replacing underpasses at 5th Street and 6th Street. The total cost of Usable Segment IV is $44 million.
“Like a well-organized team, our Congressional delegation has let each player take the lead at a critical moment in this important project. For this particular leg of the project Congressman Rodney Davis lead the way. His connections with the administration and in particular the visit he organized last fall by the federal railroad administrator were critical to securing this substantial funding. This incredible federal support will allow us to finish the corridor from Ash Street all the way to Stanford, and will continue the amazing momentum that this project has achieved.”