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Illinois panel approves funding for NS track overpass in Decatur


The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has authorized a total of $18 million in funding to construct a road overpass over Norfolk Southern Railway track and make other crossing improvements in Decatur, Illinois.

About $12 million in funding will come from the state's Grade Crossing Protection Funds, while $6 million will come from the Multi-Modal Transportation Bond Fund, which is part of Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois program. The NS track overpass will be located at Brush College Road.

The funds will also help pay for the installation of gates and median barriers at the Faries Parkway grade crossing, which is on Illinois Central Railroad (IC) track, as well as the relocation and gating of an IC crossing on Harrison Avenue.

Total costs for the Brush College Road/Faries Parkway Project is $62.7 million, with ICC committed to spending a total $18 million under the five-year Crossing Safety Improvement Plan. The city of Decatur will be responsible for future maintenance of the bridge substructure, superstructure and highway approaches. IC will be responsible for future maintenance costs of automatic warning devices and crossing surfaces. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2025.

The project is designed to address safety concerns about two grade crossings being too close to a busy road intersection in Decatur near several large industrial complexes, ICC officials said in a press release. It’s currently impossible to install flashing lights, gates or bells at either crossing; train operations are often blocked for significant amounts of time, they said.

Since 1990, 17 train-vehicle collisions have occurred at the NS crossing and four collisions have happened at the IC crossing. No fatalities and one injury have been reported out of the 21 total incidents.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/21/2021