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Union Pacific Railroad announced this week that it would spend more than $228 million this year to improve railroad infrastructure in Kansas, Nebraska and Illinois.The projects are part of UP's plans to spend a total $3.7 billion across its network this year, the Class I said in a press release.In Kansas, UP will invest $70.9 million, including $65 million to maintain track and $5.7 million to maintain bridges. Key projects include spending $9.2 million to replace more than 67,000 ties and install 44,080 tons of ballast on the rail line between Kansas City, Leavenworth and Hiawatha; and $6.1 million to replace 12 miles of rail between Atchison and Huron.In Nebraska, the railroad will spend $78.6 million, including $71 million on track and $7.5 million on bridge work. Major projects will include spending $10.5 million on undercutting 62 miles of track between Fremont, Columbus and Silver Creek. The process will require a track team to remove mud and debris and clean the ballast.Other key projects in Nebraska this year will include $6.3 million to replace more than 35,000 ties on the rail line between Sutherland, Oshkosh and Broadwater; and $5.9 million to undercut 35 miles of track between Overton, Lexington and Gothenburg.In Illinois, UP will spend $78.8 million, including $73.8 million to maintain track and $4.8 million to maintain bridges. Projects planned for this year include an $8.2 million investment to replace more than 60,000 railroad ties and install 27,000 tons of ballast on the rail line between East St. Louis and Chester; and a $6.6 million investment to replace 13 miles of rail between Mt. Vernon and Whittington.