East State Street is set to have some more major upgrades. The railroad crossing at East State Street will soon be under construction to move traffic signals and make major pavement improvements.
During the Jacksonville City Council meeting on Monday, Project Engineer Brian Borgman of Hutchison Engineering mentioned that one of the railroad lines have recently gone defunct and the signals need to be moved and replaced due to safety.
On Monday, the city, the Illinois Commerce Commission, and Hutchison Engineering entered into agreement to replace the track crossing and pavement from Hardin Avenue to the west entrance of the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired. The total cost will be approximately $460,000. The City would be reimbursed for $300,000 from the ICC from their railroad crossing protection fund. The project would include new curbs and gutters, sidewalks, and street entrances. It would also include a brand new pedestrian access path on both sides of the street across the railway crossing.
Mayor Andy Ezard says he hopes the city can do a little bit more and complete pavement and sidewalk improvements up to the newest renovations on the street down on Clay Avenue: “Our thinking internally is maybe spending some of our money from the American Rescue Plan and dress the East State Street up to where it was previously completed all the way to ISVI, piggybacking maybe on what the county is doing at their new location is with the health department. Maybe working with the county on some funding – I know they have money, too and you know, dressing up the corridor to the west from the railroad track improvements, and make East State really viable to the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired. Those are some things that are on my mind. I’ve talked to a few of the aldermen about this, and they seem to be very supportive. I think in the coming city council meetings, there will be more discussions about it.”
The project is also expected to have pedestrian gates, the first of its kind in the state, according to a report from the Journal Courier. Work on the project is slated to start next year.