Two railroad bridges in Jackson to be replaced

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JACKSON, MI (WILX) -- A railroad repair project stretching from Kalamazoo to Dearborn is planned at the tune of about $23million.

"This funding is critical to improve safety, enhance existing services, and further reduce travel times," said Tim Hoeffner, director of the MDOT Office of Rail. "Improvements to this rail line will lead to increased passenger train speeds of up to 110 mph in certain places along this important corridor."

The project includes the replacement of two railroad bridges in Jackson where the tracks cross Jackson St. and Mechanic Street.

The U.S. Department of Transportation wrote in a press release that "the proposed project, located on the Michigan-owned segment of the Chicago to Detroit/Pontiac corridor, will rehabilitate rail, cross-ties, and track surfaces between Kalamazoo and Dearborn, and replace two railroad bridges in Jackson. "

Ronald Batory, the Administrator for the Federal Railroad Administration, told NEWS 10 that, "when one looks at life expectancy, the structural engineers decided these two bridges definitely warranted replacement."

The money is coming from a grant funded in part for the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair (SOGR) program which aims to repair and rehabilitate railroad infrastructure around the country.

"This grant will improve Amtrak Wolverine Service reliability and help us to continue to grow revenue and ridership on this important Amtrak Midwest corridor," said Ray Lang, Amtrak senior director, State and Local Affairs. "Michigan is respected nationally as a leader in passenger rail and MDOT is one of our best Amtrak partners in both operations and infrastructure."

MDOT has yet to announce when the work will start.

There's no word yet if it will cause any cancellations or delays of Amtrak routes.

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