Drivers will no longer have to wait for trains at one crossing in Galesburg. Amid much hoopla, the city dedicated and opened the West Main Street Overpass on Friday, October 26.
The project cost $16.1 million. The state provided $14.5 million while the federal government contributed $809,000 and BNSF spent $806,150.
Governor Pat Quinn flew into Galesburg for the ceremony. He quoted Galesburg native Carl Sandburg while pointing out the overpass will especially benefit future generations.
“(He) once said, ‘The birth of a baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.’ Sometimes when we make sacrifices today, and we have to pay for things … those things make a difference for our children tomorrow,” said Quinn.
The bridge is officially called the Donald L. Moffitt Overpass. It’s named after the Republican state representative who helped make it possible.
Moffitt and his family – including his 90-year old mother – were on-hand for the event. Moffitt chose to paraphrase from his favorite children’s book The Little Engine That Could.
“That little engine kept saying, ‘I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.’ Then as he got over the top and started down, he said, ‘I thought I could, I thought I could.’ We’ve got one more line to add to our story here in Galesburg. It’s: We did it, we did it. Okay, we did it! It’s here!” said Moffitt.
Mayor Sal Garza, Congressman Bobby Schilling, and I-DOT Secretary Ann Schneider were among the others who spoke during the event on a windy and cool autumn morning.
This is the first of three overpasses planned for Galesburg. The others are on East Main Street and on Seminary Street.