May 16, 2011

High Speed Rail Upgrade In BN

By Eric Shangraw

May 16, 2011 Updated May 16, 2011 at 10:45 PM CDT

The upgrading of track to high speed rail begins in earnest this week through Bloomington-Normal.

It will cause some traffic headaches for twin city motorists.

But as Eric Shangraw reports, state officials promise to make sure everyone is able to get where they need to go.

The rail road crossing on Six Points Road will be closed for a week starting Wednesday. It'll be shut down as a Track Renewel Train crawls north through the twin cities replacing old track and rail road ties with new high speed rail caliber track and concrete ties. The TRT works at a pace of about thirty feet a minute.

Road construction on Morris and Veterans Parkway in this same corner of town already has some motorist frustrated.

"I live here in Oakwoods and not it is not convenient at all," said Kelsee Baughan. "I have to go around to got to school and to work everyday," she said.

"I lived in Chicago for 53 years and there are all kinds of alternative routes up there," said Tom Keeley. "But down here you're kind of limited. You know; small town. We'll just have to figure something out. It is not the end of the world," he said.

Residents of the Oakwood subdivision appear to really be in a pickle. If they turn one way on Six Points Road IDOT has road construction underway. That's closed. The other way is the rail road crossing which will soon be closed. But the City of Bloomington says don't worry.

IDOT is also in charge of the rail road work. Bloomington Public Works Director Jim Karch says one state project manager is talking to the other.

"The important thing for citizens to know is that when one is shut down the other will open up," said Karch. "And won't be shut down until the other is open up. So they won't be book ended. And so it is important for people to know that co-ordination is happening and people will be able to get out of their subdivisions and get where they need to go," he said.

There are multiple rail road crossings which will be closed in the twin cities in the coming days. Your best bet is to be patient and have alternate routes in mind.

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