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East Main Street Underpass Project in Galesburg Delayed Again

T.J. Carson
A sign shows what the East Main Street underpass will look like upon completion.

A major road project in Galesburg that's been delayed several times is being pushed back again.  Construction of the East Main Street underpass was supposed to begin last summer, but bid openings have been postponed several times and were pushed back again this week.

City Engineer Wayne Carl said the Illinois Department of Transportation and Burlington Northern Santa Fe still have not finalized terms of the construction and maintenance agreement. He said it remains one of the final hurdles for the project.

Carl said it now appears bids will be opened in June, the groundbreaking will be held in August, and construction won't be completed until Autumn, 2018 -- all of which is well behind the city's original schedule.

“We’ve really worked hard to get it to this point, buying all the properties and getting them torn down. The plan was to be aggressive like that so we could get it started. It is a little frustrating on our part just having to wait, and we could be at the end of the project now, but we’re just waiting,” Carl said.

Carl said he doesn’t expect another delay to occur.

“I ran into some IDOT engineers at a conference a couple weeks ago, and they said pretty much they thought everything was taken care of, and it’s just a matter of getting processed now,” Carl said.

Funding for the estimated $18 million dollar project is still guaranteed, with the city contributing only around $1 million to it.  The remaining $17 million will come from IDOT.  The state budget impasse will not jeopardize IDOT's share.