NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — The Town of Normal approved funding Monday night for its years-long underpass project.

Normal town leaders approved a funding agreement with IDOT for a year-long project.

IDOT is contributing almost $5 million in an effort to build an underpass in uptown. The goal is improving safety for walkers, cyclists and Amtrak passengers that currently have to walk across train tracks.

$3 million is funding detailed designs for the project, and the other $1.8 million will be reimbursed to the town for phase one engineering.

Staff plan on using that money to offset any inflationary increases but, it’s unknown how that will impact the project budget. However, the town is estimating it to cost almost $24 million to build the underpass.

Only 7% of the project will be funded by local taxes.

“Anytime you can build a major infrastructure project and get 93% or so of it paid by outside funds is a really good thing and a cheap way to do it for our taxpayers,” said councilmember, Kevin McCarthy.

Staff hopes to put the project out to bid by the end of January.