UPDATE: Federal Inspector Says Temporary Bridge Safe, Union Pacific to Answer Questions at Community Meeting
Village officials met Friday with Union Pacific Railroad, the Federal Railroad Administration and IDOT to discuss public safety and disruption of Shermer Road business. A meeting to address resident questions and concerns is scheduled for July 16.
Update on July 6 at 6:40 p.m.
The Villages of Glenview and Northbrook have released a second joint statement regarding the temporary bridge built by Union Pacific at the train derailment site.
July 6, 2012 – This afternoon, a representative of the Federal Railroad Administration evaluated the integrity of the temporary bridge erected by Union Pacific Railroad, following the July 4 train derailment and collapse of the viaduct over Shermer Road between Holste and Willow roads on the GlenviewNorthbrook border. The FRA representative confirmed the temporary bridge is structurally sound.
The independent inspection by the FRA was one of the main requests made by the Villages of Glenview and Northbrook at a meeting Friday morning that included officials of the Villages of Glenview and Northbrook and area state and federal legislators with representatives of Union Pacific Railroad, the Federal Railroad Administration and Illinois Department of Transportation.
“We are pleased that UP and the FRA moved swiftly to address this public safety issue,” Glenview Village President Kerry Cummings said. “We must not forget that two Glenview residents died July 4, and that two previous derailments occurred at the Shermer Road viaduct – in 2009 and 1974. Insuring the temporary structure’s integrity was of the utmost importance, as will be the permanent viaduct installed to replace the structure that collapsed.”
In a letter that will be sent to UP, the Villages will memorialize a series of requests for information and documents, including inspection reports, related both to the safety of the temporary rail bed embankment and the permanent replacement viaduct that UP estimated would be installed in about two months.
The communities also asked UP representatives to appear at a community meeting in Glenview on July 16 to explain the circumstances of the derailment, the safety history of the viaduct and to provide detailed information and schedules regarding construction of the replacement viaduct.
State Representative Elaine Nekritz helped facilitate the meeting Friday morning, which also included representatives of U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk; U.S. Congressman Robert Dold; state Senators Jeff Schoenberg and Susan Garrett; and state Representative Daniel Biss.
A spokeswoman for the Villages of Glenview and Northbrook sent the following statement via e-mail Friday afternoon in response to July 4’s train derailment and subsequent bridge collapse. Two victims have been identified in the debris thus far.
Representatives of the Villages of Glenview and Northbrook and area state and federal legislators met Friday morning, July 6, with representatives of Union Pacific Railroad, the Federal Railroad Administration and Illinois Department of Transportation. The wide-ranging discussion focused on public safety – specifically UP’s use of a temporary rail structure to facilitate freight traffic and installation of a permanent viaduct to replace the viaduct that collapsed on Shermer Road Wednesday, July 4, following a train derailment.
The Village and legislative officials requested assurances, through independent inspections and other documentation, that the integrity of the structure be certified safe and that continuous steps are taken to insure that the public is not at risk.
Also a concern was the disruption to businesses between West Lake Avenue and Willow Road caused by the closure of Shermer Road. UP officials said the company had already commenced with the design and procurement of a replacement viaduct, and believed it could be in place in about two months.
Also discussed was the idea of holding a meeting for the communities at which Union Pacific representatives can answer questions about the July 4 incident, about a 2009 derailment and any other safety matters raised. A tentative date of July 16 has been set at a location to be determined. Further announcements regarding the meeting will be provided when available.