Sen. Doris Turner

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Doris Turner joined Governor JB Pritzker, the Illinois Department of Transportation and local officials in the announcement of a new $68.3 million underpass at Madison and Jefferson streets in Springfield. This is the latest landmark for the Springfield Rail Improvements Project, which will separate railroad tracks from regular vehicle traffic to reduce congestion and delays, improve safety, provide better access for bikes and pedestrians, cut down on emergency response times and enhance local quality of life.

“Congestion in downtown Springfield can be hectic, especially when the train crosses right through town during peak traffic hours,” said Turner (D-Springfield), who helped make the Springfield Rail Improvements Project possible. “Emergency vehicles have been delayed getting to and from the medical district, increasing the wait time when residents need medical assistance. This investment not only uplifts the city, but also takes into account the safety, livability and development of Springfield for years to come.”

Following the announcement of the construction, Madison and Jefferson streets will be closed between Ninth and 11th streets for around 14 months to complete the project. Detours have been posted on the roads. The construction will lower Madison and Jefferson streets and build new railroad bridges to create a set of double tracks for the existing Norfolk Southern Railroad and the proposed Union Pacific Railroad and Amtrak lines.

Madison and Jefferson streets carry a combined 20,000 vehicles a day, serving as a critical link for police, firefighters and two nearby hospitals. Funding for the improvements comes from $13.5 million via the Federal Railroad Administration, $30.9 million from the Illinois Commerce Commission and $23.9 million from IDOT, including $7.4 million through Rebuild Illinois.

The Springfield Rail Improvements Project improves transportation, creates jobs and promotes economic growth in Sangamon County and the city of Springfield. The goal of the project is to streamline railroad operations and reduce the impact of train traffic on the surrounding community by relocating all passenger and freight traffic from the Third Street corridor to 10th Street, as well as creating an underpass and one overpass at key crossings on the 10th and 19th street corridors.

Learn more about the Springfield Rail Improvements Project.