Then: Saving Hastings residents and travelers the inconvenience of waiting for constantly lowered railroad crossing gates, city and state leaders signed an agreement on Dec. 4, 1933, to construct an underpass linking North and South Burlington Avenue.
The following day, a crew of Civil Works Administration workers, under a special appropriation, closed the street and began the initial excavation with spades and trucks. The project cost about $100,000 to complete.
The 12-foot, 5-inch underpass, sometimes referred to as the Hastings subway, opened Nov. 10, 1934. A Nov. 12, 1934, Tribune article recapping the event and accompanying traffic survey stated "hundreds of automobiles pass through the subway every hour, the survey showed. During a peak period Saturday night, seven machines passed along the new pavement every minute. From 9-10 p.m., 422 automobiles and trucks went through."
Now: Dave Rosenberg, 89, a former Hastings City Council member and former chairman of City Iron & Metal located just south of the underpass, remembers waiting for trains prior to construction of the underpass. He was 10 years old at the time.