Underpass: Too late to stop it

By: Diane Benjamin

Underpass work session:

So far Normal has authorized spending $1.5 million on Phase 1 of the underpass. Chris Koos stated it can not be stopped now because of all the staff time, grants received, and other agencies involved that wouldn’t like Normal backing out now. It almost sounded like Wayne Aldrich (Director of Public Works), who is scheduled to retire, will be hired back as a consultant to complete the project. Koos praised the DC representatives who helped get the grants, that includes Davis and Lahood.

This is what the total cost looks like now:

Every dime is taxpayer money regardless of where it came from.

As of now the taxpayers of Normal will contribute a total of $3.19 million on this luxury item while the water, sewer, and roads don’t get fixed.

See 48:00. Karyn Smith thinks taxpayers would have paid $1.25 million for an overpass that would have been restricted to Amtrak riders. Wayne Aldrich agreed to her numbers.

See this Vidette article from 2016: http://www.videtteonline.com/news/normal-favors-library-move-and-underpass-construction/article_a62995ed-c541-5810-9165-f7907a4d472a.html

Excerpt:

Normal could of had on overpass for $114,080. Obviously plans have little to do with getting passengers from one side of the tracks to the other. I wonder if umbrellas will be handed out if it rains? This is now luxury construction with false information given to Trustees who weren’t on the Council when this fiasco started.

Jump to 1:10:20. Chris Koos accuses Stan Nord of putting out false information in a survey he did on Facebook. Of course no details, just accusations. The Town obviously does not want to work with Stan to keep citizens informed. Stan is forced to present information as he sees it, all the Town does is attack him without providing counter points.

Hiring a communications person did nothing to improve communications. Trustees are not given accurate information, just propaganda. Some see through it, others aren’t capable.

The Town is exploring adding passenger drop off on the south side of the underpass since it wasn’t included in front of the train station where people do it anyway.

Somehow construction will happen by only closing one track at a time. The engineering is extensive. Of course an underpass could have been built on Linden so vehicles could also get to the other side of the tracks easier than waiting for trains to clear the intersection. When a consultant is hired (Doug Farr) that doesn’t live here, the obvious isn’t considered.

We did find out why labor associations massively contributed to Chris Koos’ campaign. They were buying jobs: https://illinoissunshine.org/committees/32789/

The only public comment that was able to connect was from Mike Rakes (sp), McLean County Building Trades. They are 100% in on the project. See 1:31:00.

Kathleen Lorenz went on a long rant, 1:14:30. She is upset about the lack of communication. She is going to vote for it anyway. Kevin McCarthy never showed up for either meeting.

11 thoughts on “Underpass: Too late to stop it

  1. Koss is just “hell bent” on connecting uptown with reality! It’s just too bad they don’t put this much EFFORT into :
    Fixing Roads
    Clean Water
    ENCOURAGING new business
    etc…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m curious about how annoying this is going to be for Amtrak? Seems to me that building over the tracks could save downtime for them, as opposed to digging under the tracks, adding reinforcements so the tracks don’t collapse, installing drainage so the tunnel doesn’t flood, etc. What a waste…

    Also, why doesn’t Koos just say what we all know he’s thinking? I imagine it would go something like, “Screw you idiots! I TOLD you that we can’t stop this now, and I MEAN IT! Stop telling me about roads full of potholes and cracks because I don’t care. Stop telling me about your brown water because I don’t care. This underpass is the most important issue FOR THE ENTIRE CITY!! And anyone who questions me hates democracy and doesn’t deserve a voice. Now go buy a bike.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The new underpass in Springfield looks exactly like the underpasses found all over Chicagoland. Normal is out of touch…they speak of multi-modal but construct for pedestrian/cyclists only.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. It will be farther for Amtrak users to traverse the winding underpass trail to get to the other side in the snow, sleet and rain. I bet money people will complain and the overpass will be built after the underpass is completed. The footings are already installed and they said they were not being removed for the underpass. Expect and under and over pass!

    Koos should have sent every taxpayer in Normal a tube of KY for his reelection thank you gift.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. The entire thing sickens me, an overpass would be far cheaper, more practical, and easier to maintain. These people just LOVE wasting other people’s money to satisfy their immeasurable egos and that’s the bottom line. Potemkin villages also come to mind.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Kathleen Lorenz says she is fiscally responsible. She is a honest as Pritzker was about his promise to veto gerrymanderd maps. Kathleen is a RINO and Preston is not far behind her. I will not forget how two faced they are come the next election.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Bottom line. KOOS wants an underpass to be “his legacy” for some god forsaken unknown EGO trip that he’s on, he is GOING to have this done come hell or high water. SO let it be his legacy. and when it floods we can ALL remember mr koos by his fine deed, just like Judy and HER arena, and just like Tari was going to reinvent Eastland mall. And I’m going to swim to the moon this evening without oxygen or a packed lunch!

    Like

  7. Unfortunately, yes it is too late to stop it. We had a full slate of fiscally sane candidates running in the last election, but a full slate of incumbents retained their offices. 0-for-4. Even if we manage to sweep the next election, anything the town’s ruling class wants will still pass 4-3 until the election after that. It will be status quo with the Town working for The Plan instead of working for The People for at least the next four years. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Normal could I put in an overpass similar to what Roman hospital has going over the top of Virginia Street with elevators on both sides and it closed in walkway over the top for a lot less money and a lot less headache to the people

    Liked by 1 person

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