Bloomington, Illinois, bridge replacement moving forward

March 6, 2024

The city of Bloomington, Illinois, will use $14.6 million to replace a bridge over Union Pacific Railroad tracks. The Fox Creek Road and Bridge project will increase safety and allow for multi-modal access over the tracks. The project is in its final design stages, with bids opening in fall 2024. Construction will begin in late 2024.

The replacement bridge will have the same cross-section as the rest of the road, including two lanes in each direction with a bi-directional center turn lane, totaling five travel lanes. The city will install traffic signals at the intersections of Fox Creek Road at Danbury Drive and Fox Creek Road at Beich Road.

The city will also build a 10-foot-wide multi-use trail north of the road, connecting the existing trail east and west of the project limits, and a sidewalk south of the road.

A Chicago-based engineering firm began designing the bridge project in 2014. In 2016, Bloomington city council approved the project, but UPRR asked that the bridge accommodate the existing railroad track, two future tracks and two access roads, citing new standards. At that time, these changes would have cost an additional $800,000.

Bloomington city staff believed this requirement was unreasonable, considering that UPRR did not have any known plans to expand railroad infrastructure under the bridge and that the proposal was submitted under the proper standards at that time. After negotiations with UPRR failed to resolve the issue, Bloomington filed a petition with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) in April 2017.

The petition requested that the city not be required to pay the additional $800,000 for an oversized bridge. It suggested that UPRR pay for the oversizing or that the city could be allowed to build the originally proposed bridge.

In June 2018, an ICC judge said UPRR would have to pay the difference between Bloomington’s proposed bridge and UPRR’s required bridge. Following the decision, UPRR withdrew its objection to the city’s original design.

Bloomington City Council approved moving the project forward during its Feb. 26 meeting, establishing a construction timeline for the long-delayed project. Bloomington must still obtain an agreement with UPRR to build a bridge on the railroad’s property.

Funding for the project will come from Illinois’ motor fuel tax fund. Half of the bridge’s replacement cost is eligible for reimbursement from the ICC’s Grade Crossing Protection Fund. Bloomington officials expect the reimbursement to be under $2 million.

Strategic Partnerships, Inc. can provide information on contract opportunities, plus existing and future government funding. For more information, contact

Photo courtesy of the City of Bloomington

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