O’FALLON – Following the most recent City Council meeting, CSX responded to inquiries by the O’Fallon Weekly that they will be refunding $153,000 to the city that was to be used to build a pedestrian signal at State Street.
At the January 4 council meeting, Mayor Gary Graham stated they have requested CSX release the money since it is unknown whether a pedestrian crossing would be needed since the Illinois Subdivision Line, which runs through town, has been shut down for an undetermined period of time.
“We still have $153,000 that the railroad is holding that we would like to get released. The railroad does not want to release this money because they aren’t sure whether they’re going to need a pedestrian signal or not. What that means is they haven’t decided if this is a permanent closure. So we have asked them to go ahead and release the money and we have agreed that if they reopen to put up a pedestrian crossing. We’re talking specifically at State Street,” Graham explained.
CSX Midwest Corporate Communications Representative Gail Lobin said in a written response that CSX plans to return the money to O’Fallon.
“The recent changes along the IL Subdivision Line reflect a variety of fluctuations in traffic volumes and patterns as well as increased capabilities on other portions of the CSX network. Prior to these changes, which took place in August, plans were underway to install a pedestrian signal at State Street. The current status of the line places a hold on the project. As is our practice for all public projects, CSX will be refunding any unused funds for the pedestrian signal project at State Street, to the City of O’Fallon,” said Lobin.
Lobin went on to say that should the Illinois Subdivision Line reopen, it will work with city officials to complete the State Street crossing as previously planned.
“Safety is CSX’s highest priority. We continue to work with customers to understand future traffic expectations along the IL Sub. Should traffic volumes along the line change, we will work cooperatively with Mayor Graham and the community, in revisiting the pedestrian signal project at that time,” said Lobin.
The Illinois Subdivision Line was closed in August of 2015. A portion of the track was removed at Caseyville and Flora, preventing any train traffic from using the track. CSX has since filed paperwork with the Surface Transportation Board to discontinue service on the line for the next two years.