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Rail News: Communication and Signal

Illinois commission OKs two grade separation projects

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) recently approved grade separation projects in Paxton and near Rockford totaling $6.1 million.

To be completed by December 2010, the $3.9 million Paxton project calls for building a bridge over Holmes Street to grade separate Illinois Central Railroad/Canadian National Railway Co. tracks. The project also includes the elimination of two outdated structures.

The ICC will contribute $2.1 million from the Grade Crossing Protection Fund (GCPF) for the project. The city of Paxton, Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and railroad will cover remaining costs.

To be completed in 18 months, the $2.2 million Rockford-area project calls for constructing a Beltline Road/County Highway 11 bridge over Illinois Railway Inc.’s tracks. Winnebago County plans to replace the existing Beltline Road grade separation structure — which was built in 1946 — with a three-span, 32-foot roadway structure.

The ICC will provide $1.3 million from the GCPF to help fund the project. The county will apply $691,000 in federal funding (obtained through IDOT’s fiscal-year 2009 Major Bridge Building Program) and other monies toward remaining costs.

Funded by motor fuel taxes designated for rail safety improvements, the GCPF provides $27 million annually for grade crossing upgrades and the construction or reconstruction of grade separations.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/5/2008