After negotiations between Evansville Western Railway, Milano Rail Services, and the City of Mt. Vernon, an agreement is being finalized towards the opening of the 7th Street railroad crossing.
The closure has been an inconvenience for some residents of Mt. Vernon as well as Milano Rail Services, the focus has always been on safety and economic development.
Milano Rail Services agrees that opening 7th Street will benefit the residents of Mt. Vernon and Milano Rail.
In 2012, Evansville Western representative, Greg Phelps, came before the City Council regarding a proposed project to construct a rail switch into Milano Rail Services rail yard.
According to September 10, 2012 Workshop minutes, Phelps stated that “it is imperative to close a portion of 7th Street for safety reasons as well as to reduce construction costs.” Subsequent to the workshop and testimony, the City Council voted to close the 7th Street crossing to facilitate the rail improvements and support business expansion in Mt. Vernon.
Evansville Western Railway has agreed that their safety concerns can been addressed by modernizing the safety signals, installing crossing arms, and upgrading the roadway and they will be submitting a funding request to the Illinois Department of Transportation for a grant through the Illinois Grade Crossing Protection Fund for the crossing improvements and safety signals.