The town of Dwight, Ill., will today be the site of a significant groundbreaking that is being characterized as the first step toward the fulfillment of the promise of high-speed rail connecting the metropolises of Chicago and St. Louis.
The official groundbreaking event is expected to bring Sen. Dick Durbin along with a smattering of Amtrak and Illinois Department of Transportation (ILDOT) officials to announce plans for the construction of the first new station that will service the high-speed line.
The towns of Pontiac, Normal, Lincoln, Springfield, Carlinville and Alton will all get new depots, but Dwight is the first to award contracts on its $3.26 million station. The station is slated to be built at the site of a former grain elevator, a block from the town’s historic depot, which will remain to function as a museum.
Dwight is located at the intersection of Ill. Rte. 17 and I-55.
Demolition is set to begin today to remove the final two grain storage buildings and the office building still on the property where the depot will be built. The new station, once completed, will be approximately 1,000 sq ft larger than the previous station, and remain open 24 hours a day and support a 25-space parking lot.