Federal agency rules in favor of Springfield rail project

Federal agency rules in favor of Springfield rail project (File Photo)

A federal agency has ruled that a rail improvement project in Springfield, Illinois won't have to reroute its tracks away from where homes burned during the city's Race Riot of 1908.

Republican Rep. Rodney Davis of Taylorville says the Federal Railroad Administration's decision is "critical to moving the Springfield Rail Improvements Project forward to the next phase."

Engineer Jim Moll tells The State Journal-Register that the next step is for engineers and community partners to find ways to minimally "disturb" the block-long archaeological site. It's been covered with sand and grass to help preserve it while officials decided how to proceed.

Moll says seven homes, five of which were burned during the riots, and artifacts from a mid-1800s immigrant neighborhood were discovered by crews working on an underpass in 2014.


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