Although the railroad bed was not raised over Capitol Street and other east-west downtown streets until 1926, when the new Union Station was under construction, this little “what if” rendering in 1917 shows that city officials and probably many residents saw a need long before then to allow unencumbered passage of trains and car traffic.
Since we’re on the subject, this 1926 article proves that things just happened a lot faster back in the day–only 24 hours closure of Capitol Street for the construction of the overpass. Or underpass, depending on your perspective.
Here’s how the same view on Capitol Street looks today. As I recall, the bricks were added to the viaduct in 1999, when Union Station was renovated and reopened as a multi-modal station for trains and busses.