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Federal, state, local officials attend groundbreaking for rail underpa

8/28/2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    
Aug. 28, 2014

Contact: Darrel Berry, Marketing Communications Manager
Hanson Professional Services Inc.
(217) 747-9291
dberry@hanson-inc.com

Federal, state, local officials attend groundbreaking for rail underpass in Springfield, Ill.

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From left, Hanson Professional Services Inc.’s President and CEO Sergio “Satch” Pecori, P.E., Sangamon County Board Chairman Andy Van Meter, Federal Railroad Administration Administrator Joseph Szabo, U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, Springfield Mayor J. Michael Houston, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, Ald. Doris Turner, U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis and Ald. Sam Cahnman participate in an Aug. 21 groundbreaking ceremony for the new Carpenter Street underpass in Springfield, Ill.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin recently joined federal, state and local officials and Hanson Professional Services Inc.’s President and CEO Sergio “Satch” Pecori, P.E., at a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Carpenter Street underpass in Springfield, Ill.

Durbin, Pecori, U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis and Aaron Schock, Federal Railroad Administration Administrator Joseph Szabo, Springfield Mayor J. Michael Houston and Sangamon County Board Chairman Andy Van Meter spoke at the Aug. 21 event at the former Benmar Corp. site, which is located at 929 E. Carpenter St. next to the 10th Street rail corridor.

“If you look at Springfield, you see the long and deep connection of Springfield with railroads. The center of that connection is right here, on Tenth Street,” Durbin told attendees. “I am happy to say that we are here today, no longer studying, but building. We’re building the first portion of the Tenth Street rail consolidation project.”

“I hope people will realize that with the right goal, and the right team, any task can be accomplished,” Houston said.

The underpass is the first segment of the Springfield Rail Improvements Project, for which Hanson is providing design, land acquisition, construction engineering and project management. “Our employee-owners are very excited, because this is one of the opportunities that we have that we can actually work here in our hometown,” Pecori said. “We can bring our national and international experience that we have in railroad engineering and apply it to this project.”

The improvements project, which is part of the Illinois High-Speed Rail Chicago to St. Louis program, will consolidate and improve rail lines in the city. Rail traffic will be relocated from the Third Street corridor to 10th Street and underpasses will be constructed 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.

The Carpenter Street underpass will replace the highway-rail grade crossing of Norfolk Southern Corp.’s track and will provide improved access to the community’s major medical facilities and reduce delays for emergency vehicles. The underpass design includes safety features for motorists and pedestrians.

“It opens up an exciting opportunity to reconnect and revitalize neighborhoods while improving access to emergency medical services,” Szabo said.

The $20 million underpass is partially funded through a $14.4 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation and through the Illinois Commerce Commission’s Grade Crossing Protection Fund.

The speakers were joined by Springfield Alds. Doris Turner and Sam Cahnman for a ceremonial groundbreaking. Hanson employees provided their personal shovels for the groundbreaking portion of the event, which was held in front of a Halverson Construction Co. Inc. crane. Springfield-based Halverson will build the underpass, which is expected to be complete in two years.

To see photos from this event, visit https://flic.kr/s/aHsk1TTELJ. For a video of this event, go to http://youtu.be/2jZRRSArdtA. For more information about the Springfield Rail Improvements Project, visit the project website at http://www.springfieldrailroad.com/.

Hanson is a national, employee-owned consulting firm providing engineering, 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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