A rail decommissioning project in the heartland : the potential integrated economic and green infrastructure development

Date
2014-05
Authors
Weitzel, Jessica Ann
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Abstract

The State of Illinois and Federal government have designated one of three major rail corridors bisecting Springfield, Illinois, to be retrofitted to accommodate future high-speed rail traffic. The three corridors that bisect the city are known as the 3rd Street, 10th Street, and 19th Street corridors, each running north to south through the central city area. The approved plan completely decommissions the 3rd Street Corridor while expanding the 10th Street corridor to serve rail traffic currently using both of these corridors. Traffic to run along the expanded 10th Street corridor will include Amtrak's high-speed rail passenger service between St. Louis, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. The decommissioning of the 3rd Street Corridor in Springfield presents an opportunity for green infrastructure development in the form of a linear park. More broadly, this report argues that increasing quality of life amenities via the redevelopment of rail infrastructure provides a viable alternative economic development strategy for cities facing stagnant growth.

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