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Saturday, September 05, 2009

Train stuff update

Officials: 3rd St. only option for fast trains:

There are alternatives to overpasses and street closings for high-speed rail and additional freight traffic in Springfield but not to putting that traffic on the Third Street corridor, Illinois Secretary of Transportation Gary Hannig said Friday.
“This is the only alternative (Third Street) that’s going to work. The other alternative is walking away,” Hannig said in a conference call with the editorial board of The State Journal-Register.

High-speed rail plan calls for nine overpasses (with map):

The Union Pacific Railroad is suggesting the city of Springfield close five rail crossings and build nine overpasses and one underpass along a 4.4-mile stretch that cuts through the heart of downtown.
During a meeting with The State Journal-Register editorial board Wednesday, Mayor Tim Davlin summed up how the proposal would transform Springfield: “The whole city would look like crap.”

Some might argue that the city already looks like crap. But, that's another conversation for another day.

The same article has this caption near the bottom: "Local officials hire attorney." I don't see where it says which attorney they hired. It does say they hired Milton Sees, former IDOT director as a consultant. However, I don't think he's an attorney. Or maybe he is.

Finally, from the middle of the SJ-R's Boiler Room blog, Thoughts on IDOT’s response:

IDOT admits it didn’t look at the two-track issue. Does that mean things could change when they figure out what this does to the city?
- IDOT makes it seem like they just found out about Springfield’s desire to consolidate the railroads on July 29. That’s horse puckey. I’ve talked to people at that agency; they’ve known about it for years. It was even in Springfield’s city plan from the early 1900s.
Now Springfield may not have been as diligent in pursuing as it should have been, but that doesn’t excuse IDOT for pulling a fast one and signing this memorandum of understanding without letting our leaders know.

On Wednesday of next week, the Illinois Commerce Commission is going to hold a high-speed rail corridor policy briefing. I'm sure that'll be a packed room.

Posted by Marie at September 5, 2009 10:02 PM

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