A GLIMPSE OF THE FUTURE
The Springfield rail consolidation project is all but official, and engineers recently revealed the first glimpse of what it will look like. Hanson Professional Services of Springfield, which is overseeing the project, has released renderings of the Carpenter Street underpass proposal. It’s scheduled to be the first piece of the consolidation, and work will likely begin in summer 2014. The design separates pedestrians from cars, sending both beneath the train tracks where Carpenter crosses 10th Street. Funding for the underpass will come partly from a $14.4 million federal TIGER grant the City of Springfield received in August, and the city is also hoping to access a state fund set up to improve railroad crossings. Hanson will also employ a clever method of building the underpass so that trains can still use the crossing during construction. Automobiles will have to go around, however, as Carpenter Street will be closed between Ninth Street and 11th Street. Overall, the rail consolidation is expected to more than halve the number of at-grade rail crossings from 68 to 32, which means fewer accidents and (hopefully) fewer train horns blaring through the night. For more information, visit springfieldrailroad.com.