Davis Statement on Finalization of FRA Agreement on Preservation of Springfield Race Riot Artifacts
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) released the following statement after all parties signed an agreement on how the 1908 Springfield Race Riot site will be excavated and where the artifacts will go once they are retrieved. This agreement allows the excavation to move forward. Davis has helped to facilitate federal assistance for this project with the Federal Railroad Administration, the Department of Transportation, and the Library of Congress.
"I am very pleased that all parties have signed this agreement and that this important process will now be able to move forward," Davis said. "I will continue to make sure the federal government is doing its part to ensure this project is completed and the site and artifacts are preserved for generations to come. This is also an important step forward for the Springfield Rail Improvements Project and providing safer, more efficient rail transportation in downtown Springfield."
Davis hosted FRA Administrator Ronald Batory in Springfield, where they met with stakeholders from the state, county, and local levels of government. They discussed the history and importance of the Springfield Rail Improvements Project and the preservation of the 1908 Springfield Race Riot site that was unearthed during the construction of the rail project.
The Springfield Rail Improvements Project will improve public safety, traffic congestion, community livability, and commercial development in the capital’s downtown. Through the development of underpasses and consolidation of railroad tracks and easements, this project will improve commercial activity and residential connectivity throughout Springfield’s historic downtown and medical district.
In November of last year, members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation urged the FRA to allow this project to move forward. And in February, the FRA allowed the Carpenter Street rail segment to continue.
Additionally, Davis has been working with the Illinois NAACP, the Central Illinois African American Museum, and the Library of Congress to preserve the artifacts unearthed. Davis hosted the Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden, in Springfield to view the artifacts last September.
Davis has worked to secure federal support for this project since coming to Congress. Related:
FRA to Allow Carpenter Street Rail Segment to Move Forward
Davis, LaHood Announce Release of Springfield Rail TIGER Grant Funds
House Passes Bipartisan Passenger Rail Reform Bill
Davis Applauds Springfield High Speed Rail Agreement, Continues to Push for Federal Funding
Congressional letter supports $14M for rail consolidation