ICC, city agree on rail plan

A little more than two months after proposing large-scale changes to two downtown rail crossings in Vandalia, the Illinois Commerce Commission has agreed to one change in that area of town.
Vandalia Mayor Rick Gottman told the city council on Monday that the ICC had agreed to the plan supported by the city. That plan includes only one change – limiting Main Street between Fifth and Sixth streets to eastbound traffic.
Through this agreement, Gottman said, the city will be responsible only for the rail crossing markings to be painted on the roadway at the Fifth and Sixth street crossings.
The ICC has stated that changes to the crossings include the installation of new, state-of-the-art crossing arms.
The crossing arm now located north of Main Street on Sixth Street will be replaced with a new crossing arm on the south side of Main, just north of the north-south rail line.
Gottman said told the council that the matter has been given to the city’s legal counsel – Burnside, Johnston, Connor and Jensen – for final review.
In addition to asking the city’s legal counsel to review that plan, Gottman wants to make sure that this agreement does not affect the city’s initial agreement with the railroad, signed in 1868, or the 1879 challenge that was decided in the city’s favor.
The ICC, and the Illinois Department of Transportation, initially proposed one-way traffic on both Fifth and Sixth streets, as well as closing Main Street between Fifth and Eighth streets.
That proposal was made in response to a car-train accident on the night of the Halloween Parade on Oct. 30 that resulted in the deaths of four members of a Greenville family.


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