- Associated Press - Thursday, August 21, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The first major construction work is beginning on a project to combine rail lines running through the state capital into a single corridor.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin joined other officials Thursday in Springfield for a ceremonial groundbreaking on a planned $20 million underpass at Carpenter Street.

The project is aimed at reducing accidents as well as delays at crossings.

Most of the cost is being funded by a $14.4 million federal grant. Work should be finished by fall 2015.

It is part of a plan to combine several rail lines into a single route along 10th Street and improve Amtrak passenger service without adding to congestion.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports (https://bit.ly/1royhcJ ) that Durbin noted there were strong disagreements over details and “it wasn’t easy to get to this point.”

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