The latest completed segment of the Springfield Rail Improvements Project has been launched in the US state of Illinois.

US Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Illinois Lt Governor Juliana Stratton opened the new fifth and sixth Street Bridges that are part of the project.

The fifth and sixth Street Bridges Project features new double-track bridges for the Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific corridors at the fifth and sixth streets.

The project consists of grading, drainage, and trackwork from north of the sixth street to Stanford Avenue.

According to Durbin, the work will enhance rail safety and vehicle height restrictions on the Business 55 Loop for around 1,000-12,000 vehicles, which pass through the fifth and sixth streets each day.

Durbin helped secure a $22m Half Better Utilising Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant for nearly half of this segment.

IDOT offered $19.1m for the project, while the City of Springfield provided $3.7m.

By building a series of new underpasses and overpasses at crucial rail crossings, the Springfield Rail Improvements Project will help reduce rail congestion in downtown Springfield by consolidating train traffic from the third street to 10th street.

In a statement, Durbin said: “The Springfield Rail Improvements Project will benefit not only the local community, but the entire region, and I’ve been a longtime supporter of it.

“This is a perfect example of state, local, and federal dollars working together to improve our community, and I will continue to do all I can to bring more federal dollars home to Illinois so we can continue to improve our infrastructure.”