Officials in the Windy City want to unwind the nation’s most complicated railroad labyrinth.
The CREATE (Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency) partners—Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), Cook County, Association of American Railroads (AAR), Metra, Amtrak and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP)—have received a $132 million U.S. Department of Transportation INFRA (Infrastructure For Rebuilding America) Grant for the $474 million 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project (CIP). This project will grade-separate several freight and passenger rail lines in Chicago’s Englewood, Auburn Gresham and West Chatham neighborhoods that currently intersect, creating significant delays and congestion.
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) awarded $241 million to 23 state freight projects on June 5.
Ground has been broken on Phase III (construction phase) of the CREATE (Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency) Program’s 34th initiative, Project B1, “Canadian Pacific Crossover Upgrades.” Metra and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) will upgrade signals and add several crossover tracks, principally within the Metra Milwaukee District West right-of-way.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durban (D) joined Union Pacific President and COO Lance Fritz Friday, June 27, 2014, to announce a joint $90 million addition of a third track to Metra’s West Line.
A signalization modernization project that falls under the CREATE (Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency) program and funded through TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economy Recovery) grants has been completed.
In the coming decades, America faces an infrastructure crisis. Freight volume in the U.S. is projected to grow by 70% by 2020. We are already seeing the first inklings of the crisis.