NORMAL — A second train platform and additional waiting area are coming to Uptown Station this summer, pending City Council approval.

The council will consider Monday a $2.5 million contract with River City Construction of East Peoria to build the platform and renovate the former station on the south side of the tracks.

Federal high-speed rail funding will pay for the improvements as part of an Illinois Department of Transportation plan to run 110 mph trains from Chicago to St. Louis.

The plan is set to wrap up, and faster trains to begin running, next year. River City Construction's contract specifies the project will be done by Dec. 31, or the contractor will be charged fees.

Construction on the platform could start next month or in June, said City Manager Mark Peterson, and run into fall.

The town was previously slated to build a railroad overpass at Uptown Station this summer, but town officials shelved that project in favor of an underpass, which could cost twice as much but offer more flexibility.

The town will conduct a multi-year feasibility study on the underpass and oversee construction of a temporary at-grade crossing for Amtrak passengers. The crossing isn't included in the contract with River City Construction, Peterson said.

According to an IDOT presentation, other work to be done in Normal for high-speed rail includes:

  • Crossings at Beech Street and Fort Jesse Road;
  • New signal equipment on Linden Street;
  • Striping and signage on Broadway, College, Fell and University avenues, as well as Fell Street;
  • Drainage, retaining walls, curbs and gutters on those streets and Mulberry Street;
  • Signage on Olive and School streets; and
  • Main line track, fencing, platform removal and siding at unspecified locations.

Peterson said the town will work with IDOT to stagger the work so several streets aren't closed at once.

"That has the potential to be very disruptive," he said.

IDOT also plans to improve drainage, striping and signage on Miller Street, Six Points Road and Washington Street in Bloomington. That work is set to begin this spring.

Other local improvements in the high-speed rail plan include the following with work beginning this spring and summer:

  • A crossing closure at Pekin Street and drainage, pavement, pedestrian, signage, striping and curb and gutter upgrades in Lincoln;
  • New Union Pacific access roads in Lexington and Towanda; 
  • Drainage, fencing, main line track, median replacement, pavement, pedestrian, retaining wall, signage, striping and curb and gutter upgrades in Elkhart;
  • Culvert, pavement, pedestrian, signage and striping upgrades in Chenoa; and
  • Drainage, pavement, pedestrian, signage and striping upgrades in Atlanta and McLean. 

Follow Derek Beigh on Twitter: @pg_beigh

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Staff Writer

Reporter for The Pantagraph.

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