Is the city of Springfield spending too much money too early on future Tenth Street rail corridor improvements?
Ward 7 Alderman Joe McMenamin thinks so.
“We don’t have the money for Tenth Street today,” said McMenamin. “But if that comes into being and we push in that direction and we get it done, what leverage, what legal obligation is there for Union Pacific to move over? That’s the problem.”
Eventually, the goal is to have all freight and high speed passenger traffic pass through on Tenth Street. In the meantime Union Pacific is upgrading the Third Street corridor so more trains can pass through faster.
The overriding concern, for McMenamin, is what might happen if Union Pacific likes the upgrades so much that they keep trains on Third Street. Ward 1’s Frank Edwards says the railroad is a private company and can do what it wants, it’s up to the city to convince UP that it’s a good idea.
“The discussion here is to take some money that’s left over and move it over to 10th Street, and to show them it’s attractive for [Union Pacific] to do that,” said Edwards. “We need to complete those studies to move that forward.”
The money would come from left over TIGER grant funds from Third Street rail improvements.