Hanson submits preliminary plans for Carpenter Street underpass


Nov. 7, 2013

Contact: Jim Moll, P.E., S.E., Project Manager
Hanson Professional Services Inc.
(217) 747-9303

Darrel Berry, Marketing Communications Manager
(217) 747-9291

Hanson submits preliminary plans for Carpenter Street underpass

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Hanson has submitted preliminary plans for the design of Springfield, Ill.’s Carpenter Street underpass, the first stage of the Springfield Rail Improvements Project. Aesthetic design recommendations and renderings courtesy of RDG Planning & Design.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Hanson Professional Services Inc. has submitted preliminary plans for the design of Springfield, Ill.’s Carpenter Street underpass between Ninth and 11th streets to the city of Springfield, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the Federal Railroad Administration, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), Norfolk Southern Corp., Union Pacific Railroad Corp. and utility companies. This underpass is the first stage of the Springfield Rail Improvements Project, which is part of the Illinois High-Speed Rail Chicago to St. Louis program.

Construction of the Carpenter Street underpass will provide improved access to the community’s major medical facilities and reduce delays for emergency vehicles.

The design of the Carpenter Street underpass includes numerous safety features for motorists and pedestrians such as an elevated walkway that separates pedestrians from vehicular traffic; high-visibility and accent LED lighting; stainless steel tensioned-cable railings for the railroad bridge and walkways; and retaining walls that are offset several feet behind the curb and gutter for increased motorist safety. The design also includes aesthetic elements such as round, multi-column piers with decorative pier caps and walls; textured retaining walls; and color accents for the retaining walls and bridge.

The underpass will be constructed using a top-down method to help maintain rail traffic during construction. During this process, the shafts supporting the bridge piers, abutments and retaining walls will be drilled into the ground. Bridge construction and earth excavation then will begin, followed by roadway construction.

Funds for the Carpenter Street project will partially come from a $14.4 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant the city received in August. The city also has filed a petition with the ICC requesting permission to replace the Carpenter Street grade crossing of Norfolk Southern’s track with a new underpass and assistance from the Grade Crossing Protection Fund (GCPF) to help pay for the new structure. Administered by the ICC, the GCPF was created by state law to assist counties, townships and municipalities in paying for safety improvements at highway-railroad crossings on local roads. Following ICC’s approval of the project, Hanson will submit to IDOT in early 2014 final plans for construction letting in June 2014 and groundbreaking in summer 2014. This timeframe is critical for the city to maintain its TIGER funding.

The Springfield Rail Improvements Project involves consolidating and improving rail lines by relocating rail traffic from the Third Street corridor to 10th Street and constructing underpasses at rail crossings throughout the city. The project includes the design and construction of more than 4 miles of new rail corridor, eight new underpasses, one new overpass and reconstruction of four existing underpasses. It will reduce the number of at-grade rail crossings in the city from 68 to 32. These improvements are expected to decrease accidents between trains and vehicles, reduce vehicle traffic congestion, decrease noise from train horns by implementing a citywide quiet zone and spur economic development.

The city selected Hanson in July 2013 to provide design, land acquisition, construction engineering and project management services for the $315 million rail improvements project.

For more information about the Springfield Rail Improvements Project, visit the project website at http://springfieldrailroad.com/newsite/, or contact Hanson’s Jimmie Austin at (217) 747-9257 or at jaustin@hanson-inc.com.

Hanson is a national, employee-owned consulting firm providing engineering, architecture, planning and allied services. The firm’s corporate headquarters is located at 1525 S. Sixth St., Springfield, IL 62703. The office may be reached by phone: (217) 788-2450 or fax: (217) 788-2503.


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