FRA to Allow Carpenter Street Rail Segment to Move Forward
U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) today announced that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has agreed to allow the Carpenter Street segment of the Springfield Rail Improvements Project to move forward to the next phase. In November, members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation urged the FRA to allow this project to move forward. The letter can be found here.
“I want to thank the Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, FRA Acting Deputy Administrator Juan Reyes, and their team for working diligently with the city and other stakeholders to get us here," said Davis. "This is critical to moving the Springfield Rail Improvements Project forward to the next phase. The Carpenter Street archeology is an important part of Springfield’s history, and it presents an opportunity to share the story of the 1908 race riots and the subsequent formation of the NAACP with the rest of the world. I look forward to working with both the FRA and local stakeholders to ensure construction moves forward and that the artifacts unearthed at this site are preserved to help tell this story.”
“I applaud the FRA for working efficiently with the City of Springfield to keep the Carpenter Street segment of the Springfield Rail Improvements Project moving forward towards the ultimate goal of improving rail and road traffic for the local community,” stated LaHood. "Because of their diligent work, this project, which is projected to improve rail safety, reduce driver delays, and save first responders critical time in their efforts to come to the need of Springfield residents, will now continue to the next phase of the project.”
"We are pleased to work with the local community and that all stakeholders were able to work collaboratively to identify best practices on how to minimize impacts to this historically significant site," said FRA Acting Deputy Administrator Juan Reyes.
More on Davis’ work to preserve artifacts
Additionally, Davis has been working with the Library of Congress to ensure these artifacts are preserved and shared on a national level. In September, Davis hosted the Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden, in Springfield to view the artifacts at the Central Illinois African American Museum.