Metro and the St. Clair County Transit District (SCCTD) have avoided potential service disruptions to MetroLink by completing a $2.7 million project that halted erosion and stabilized soil along 4.5 miles of tracks between Fairview Heights and Swansea, Illinois. The project that began in May was completed nearly two months ahead of schedule and 10 percent under the $3 million budget.
“This kind of preventative maintenance protects the $400 million asset that is MetroLink in St. Clair County and ensures that we continue to deliver on-time, reliable service to our customers across the region,” said Chris Poehler, Metro Senior Vice President of Engineering and New System Development. “It’s a perfect example of the kind of project that the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was designed to finance. It puts people to work and improves the country’s infrastructure.”
The work was funded by several sources including ARRA, the Federal Transit Administration, and SCCTD. Poehler said arranging the financing and completing the project demonstrated the importance of partnerships between federal, state and local agencies. U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello of Belleville and Illinois State Reps. Jay Hoffman of Collinsville and Tom Holbrook of Belleville helped secure the financing.
The work involved excavating, repairing and stabilizing 19 sites adjacent to the MetroLink tracks and near retaining walls along 4.5 miles of the light-rail system’s tracks where storm water, mostly from a drainage creek, had eroded the soil. Eroded areas were armored with stabilization techniques such as retaining walls, riprap rock and grass seeding.
The contractor was the Kilian Corp. of Mascoutah, Illinois.