harmon rail 120321An Elmwood Park rail crossing that was the site of the horrific, day-before-Thanksgiving 2005 Metra crash will get $3.1 million to continue planning its eventual replacement, state officials announced.

More than a dozen people were injured in that 2005 collision when a Metra train travelling nearly 70 mph plowed into vehicles on the tracks at West Grand Avenue sending them careening into surrounding traffic.

“To this day I remain amazed and thankful that no one was killed in that horrific 2005 crash,” said Illinois Senate President Don Harmon, who represents the area. “This investment is a long time coming and vital to the safety of the thousands of people who make this crossing daily by car and train. This investment will make our community safer.”

The latest infusion into the overall $121 million project will be used to develop specifications and detailed estimates for the eventual construction of an underpass to eliminate the chance of collisions.

The biggest chunk of the overall funding, $78 million, comes from the state’s bipartisan Rebuild Illinois construction program. The Illinois Commerce Commission, which oversees rail crossings, committed another $24 million, and Elmwood Park village officials can apply for federal funds.

The Illinois Commerce Commission recently announced the latest funding and planning developments.