SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois officials are working to preserve artifacts from the 1908 Springfield Race Riots that were found at the site of a railroad improvement project.

Republican U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis told the State Journal-Register that he's working with officials to move the items to museums, such as the Smithsonian or the Library of Congress.

"We're hoping both," Davis said. "Heck, I'd love to have even more opportunities, but the fact is we've got great opportunities right now because of people connected to Springfield."

Crews working on an underpass in 2014 discovered seven homes, including five that were burned during the riots, along with artifacts from a mid-1800s immigrant neighborhood, said engineer Jim Moll.

The Federal Railroad Administration in February ruled that the $315 million project wouldn't have to reroute its lines because of the discovery.

The project aims to alleviate rail congestion in downtown Springfield and includes new overpasses and underpasses. The project is scheduled for completion in 2025.

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Information from: The State Journal-Register, http://www.sj-r.com