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Representative Darin LaHood

Representing the 18th District of Illinois

LaHood, Davis Announce Release of Springfield Rail TIGER Grant Funds

July 26, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C.— U.S. Reps. Darin LaHood and Rodney Davis today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation has released the $14 million in funds from the TIGER grant the city of Springfield received for phase two of the rail improvement project. LaHood and Davis recently met with federal transportation officials urging the timely release of the grant.

“Today’s announcement of the released federal funding to improve the Ash and Laurel Street underpasses is welcomed news. Following last year’s opening of the Carpenter Street overpass, this announcement dramatically moves forward this rail improvement project for the community,” stated LaHood. “The completion at Ash and Laurel Streets over the next three years will catapult this project forward in a positive way, improving rail service and traffic safety in Springfield. The completion of these projects will also bring further economic development in downtown Springfield and the Medical District. Needless to say, the nearly $50 million dedicated for these underpasses creates good paying construction jobs and additional opportunities for the area. I’m excited to see this project come to fruition with bipartisan support and move closer to completion.”

“Making sure this project continues to move forward is critical for the people of Springfield and the city’s economic success,” Davis said. “I was happy to meet with Department of Transportation officials in Washington to ensure the grant is released so work during construction season can continue. I am encouraged by the continued bipartisan support at the federal, state, and local levels for this project and I look forward to seeing the progress that is made.”

“The Illinois Department of Transportation is pleased that this important project for the city and the state is proceeding as planned,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “We look forward to continuing our work with all of the stakeholders involved to see that their vision becomes a reality.”

“Thanks to the dedicated work of Congressmen Darin LaHood and Rodney Davis, and Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, this project has continued to move forward with great progress,” stated Andy Van Meter, Sangamon County Board Chairman. “We are grateful for their relentless efforts on behalf of Springfield and Sangamon County for such a worthy project.”

“On behalf of all of our citizens, I want to thank Senators Durbin and Duckworth and Congressmen Davis and LaHood for their invaluable assistance in securing $16 million in federal funds for the next phase of the Springfield Rail Improvements Project,” said Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder. “This will allow us to begin construction work this fall on new underpasses at Laurel and Ash Streets at the 10th Street tracks.  When completed, the Springfield Rail Improvements Project will save lives by reducing car/train collisions by 80 percent, reduce vehicle delays by 70% and eliminate train horn noise throughout the City.  A goal of our community since the 1920’s, it will allow the City to finally reduce the negative impacts of the rail corridors on the quality of life in Springfield and enhance economic growth in our downtown and in the Medical District. We look forward to our continued partnership with our legislative leaders, IDOT and the FRA in completion of the 10th Street Corridor.”

Background
Springfield was awarded the TIGER grant in August of 2016 for the Laurel and Ash Street underpasses as part of the 10th Street rail consolidation. Without the grant being executed by August 4, the Illinois Department of Transportation would have been unable to open bids for the project, which kept the construction from beginning in 2017 and added an additional $500,000 in project costs.