Normal: Outrageous Price!

By:  Diane Benjamin

At Monday’s Council meeting at was announced they think the formerly $24,000,000 underpass can be built for $22,000,000.  This Uptown vanity won’t allow a single car to avoid sitting at a crossing waiting for a train to pass.  It won’t stop people from crossing the tracks on foot at other crossings.

Compare this to Springfield.  In 2012 they planned eliminating numerous at grade crossings as part of the high speed rail project.  (Details on that is another ridiculous story!)  Since Dick Durbin made sure the money was available, Springfield took it.  This underpass opened to traffic in 2016:

spfld underpass

What was the total cost of this 4-lane underpass including pedestrian traffic and land acquisition?

$20.8 million

Normal wants to spend more than that just for walkers and bikers!

Instead of spending money to benefit all people traveling through Normal on Linden, Normal fixated on Uptown foot and bike traffic.

See this story:  https://www.sj-r.com/news/20160829/208-million-carpenter-street-underpass-opens-to-traffic

From the story:

sprfld funding

The taxpayers of Springfield spent less then $1 million.  Normal could have planned an underpass on Linden and routed foot traffic there.  They could have enclosed a walkway for Amtrak passengers if they worried about them.

Normal could have planned many things better, including the ability to drop passengers at Amtrak’s door.  The station was built anticipating an overpass.  Changing to an overpriced underpass proves why Normal built themselves lavish offices.  Taxpayer money exists for whatever whims government dreams up.  Normal’s current government doesn’t exist for citizens.

See this story:  https://www.railway-technology.com/projects/springfield-rail-improvements-project/

Eventually Springfield will spend $315 million on underpasses, they will only pay $34 million.  Normal was praised during public comment for bringing tax dollars back from Washington.  Compared to Springfield, Normal looks like amateurs.  Since Bloomington is fixated on their downtown, the two cities couldn’t work together on a regional plan.  They will however be looking at a sports complex guaranteed to never break even.

From the article:  The project will address public safety, traffic congestion, community livability, and commercial development.

What will Normal’s $22 million underpass do?

It will do nothing to reduce traffic congestion and livability for people sitting at train crossings.  We do know Normal wants Uptown 2.0 – a new library and likely a police station.

Maybe the local union workers wanting the underpass so they have work should move to Springfield.   It might be too late though, all the projects are projected to be completed next year.

 

19 thoughts on “Normal: Outrageous Price!

  1. Those “Union guys” have at LEAST 10 years worth of work IF they FIRST started on the ROADS and BRIDGES! Then the “Underpass” COULD be PLANNED into the work.. Planning folks..
    Can I get an AMEN!

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  2. They mentioned during the meeting that the current track would have to have a bypass built while the underpass is being built . Where does that go ?

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  3. This bridge to the New World Order (normal uptown) plan is ludicrous. Who is the architect of this plan? Albert Speer’s grandson ? If this plan is a result of the National Rapid Rail Program, then only Federal monies should be used. That way, none of us will have to pay anything.

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  4. Springfield and Normal should be dealing with a $0 cost as this moronic project is not needed. Next we will be making underpasses for ALL rrailroad crossing because some morons drive around the gates.
    BTW noted elsewhere on another topic. The TV coverage of the hearings has made Jerry Springer and Steve Wilkos look good. Hats off the many TV stations in the afternoon (Springfield and Decaut) who dumped this crap and ran local programming unlike the morons at WEEK/WHOI and WMBD.

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  5. It’s also about bicycles, and by extension I assume the environmental posturing and bike shop profits that that includes.
    I like biking the trail and find the Linden St detour annoying. For that reason, I’m quite willing to pay the several hundred dollars over several years that would be ‘my share’ of the underpass cost. However, unlike some town leaders, I don’t think everyone feels the same as me, or that I know better than everyone else, or that piling more debt on our kids is a good thing.
    I personally want the underpass, and our town could afford it. But I say ‘could’ instead of ‘can’ because that money has already been spent or allocated towards the mayors’ other ‘wants’, and it’s past time we focus more on ‘needs’.

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  6. This is part of their marketing for ISU and the continuation of their environmentally bike/electric city hallucination. It is not about the people who live and work in this area. It is of no practical value to 99% of the people who will be forced to pay for it.

    And speaking of electric: Ford has just come out with their electric Mustang. Yes, they actually have a production electric car and a dealer network that will sell it! What is up with our “car” maker? When is the car/truck/SUV/Deliver Vans going to come rolling out of the back of that plant?

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  7. The $22 million is what is more is left to pay. Remember nearly $2M has been spent already and that does not count the land acquisition costs.

    It outrageous that Normal’s underpass is a fraction the size of Springfield’s but Normal’s costs more.

    Makes me think Normal either needs to get people involved who have a record of doing things efficiently or there are pockets getting padded. (I have a hunch it is the latter)

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  8. The local economy is in perpetual decline. Sounds like the perfect time for a needless construction project. Hopefully, the next election cycle will clean out more of the garbage on the Council. It would be awesome to see Uptown development cease just before it reaches the doorstep of a certain egotistical business owner on the other side of the tracks.

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  9. Yep ..It has nothing to do about planning , savings , use or cost .. To me , this is Vanity and self indulgence by a bunch of jerks who have little common sense , care little about taxpayers and are self absorbed so badly , they keep on being destructive to the community instead of doing things that help it It was set up for an overpass ,, and within reason .. but Koos and his progressive bike mentality over rule any real logic .

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