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Elkhart Siding and Track Construction Project, Illinois

Environmental Assessment

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is the lead state agency completing the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Elkhart Siding and Track Construction Project pursuant to 42 USC § 4332, 49 USC § 303, and 64 FR 28545 for the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the lead Federal agency for the proposed actions (Project).

This Project spans 8.55 miles from Milepost (MP) 161.9 to MP 170.45 along the Chicago to St. Louis High-Speed Rail Corridor. IDOT proposes to construct a siding track along the main service line of the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) between 1200N Road in Fogarty, IL, an unincorporated community in Broadwell Township, at the north terminus, and 450 Avenue in Mount Fulcher, an unincorporated community in Hurlbut Township within Logan County, IL, at the south terminus. In addition to the construction of the siding track, this Project will reconstruct existing siding track, and install new signal equipment, switch gears, crossing gates and associated safety devices, as well as replace or reconstruct existing culverts.

The Project would immediately benefit rail passenger and freight services currently using this mainline, as well as future use of high-speed rail on the corridor. The siding and track work will improve train movement, reduce delays for passenger trains, and relieve congestion in the area between Broadwell, IL, and Elkhart, IL. The siding track would also improve the efficiency of the railroad by allowing for freight train switching and sorting, and for storing trains during maintenance incidents. These improvements would enhance the safety of train operations through the zone, including at grade crossings within the Project limits.

On November 22, 2013, based on the information presented in the EA, FRA signed a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). As a result, all Federal environmental requirements have been satisfied for this Project.

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