USDOT awards $132 million grant to Chicago railway project - KMOV.com

USDOT awards $132 million grant to Chicago railway project

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(Credit: KMOV) (Credit: KMOV)
CHICAGO, Ill. (KMOV.com) -

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner announced the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) will be awarding $132 million toward the 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project today. The project is considered the linchpin of the Chicago Region Environment and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program.

The award, through the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America program, leverages additional private and public contributions for a total investment of $474 million to fix this particular segment of the country’s railroad.

The grant is the largest received by Illinois under the two previous USDOT’s discretionary grant programs and one of the largest ever.

The accomplishment was made possible by the work of the Illinois congressional delegation, particularly U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis and Dan Lipinski.

The corridor improvement project will eliminate multiple conflict points, add double-tracking and enhance key linkages to improve capacity and efficiency, leading to an estimated $3.8 billion in economic benefit.

The major elements include a CSX Railroad flyover bridge to eliminate intersections with other tracks, a 71st Street underpass just east of Western Avenue that will erase 10,000 hours of motorist delay annually and new tracks and crossovers at the belt railroads, where trains presently travel as slow as 10 mph. Construction is scheduled to start this fall.

Also included is funding to complete studies and designs for a second set of Belt Railway Company of Chicago tracks and a new rail flyover connecting Metra’s Rock Island District and SouthWest Service lines.  

The $132 million federal award is matched by $111 million from the Illinois Department of Transportation, $116 million from the American Association of Railroads, $78 million from Cook County, $23 million from Metra, $9 million from the City of Chicago and $5 million from Amtrak.

The grant will be officially announced on Friday by the USDOT in Washington, D.C.

Visit createprogram.org for more information about CREATE.

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