Winter 2017

In This Issue

Grade Separation Opens in Bellwood!

2017 Projects Update

Cook County pledges $75M to CREATE

2017 FASTLANE Grant Application

CREATE Listed Among Top 40 Projects of National Economic Significance

Englewood Flyover Earns National Honor Award

 

Grade Separation Opens in Bellwood! 

In late December, the new 25th Avenue overpass (CREATE Project GS6) opened to traffic. Each day this $41 million grade separation project allows 19,000 motorists to avoid crossing paths with 59 Metra trains and 52 freight trains each day, resulting in a reduction of 28,400 annual hours of motorist delay. Together with improved response times for emergency vehicles, increased safety and fresh pavement resurfacing, this project makes the area more attractive for economic development. Congratulations to the elected officials, local leaders and project partners who collaborated with the CREATE partners to find a solution that benefits everyone.

 

 

2017 Projects Update

Speaking of grade separations, 2017 is off to a great start for CREATE projects, most notably with the launch of websites for three more grade separation studies in Chicago:

Construction on Irving Park Road GS16 in Bensenville is on schedule for completion by Fall 2017.
Additional CREATE projects under design in 2017 include Argo B9, Pullman Junction EW3, Ogden Junction WA1 and Dolton Interlocking WA11. Beginning construction in 2017 is the Canadian Pacific double track and Indiana Harbor Belt connection in Franklin Park B1. This project is a trifecta, reducing delays for commuter trains, freight trains and motorists. To round out 2017, construction will continue on the BNSF "Horseshoe" WA4 to provide new connections between nearby major freight yards and main line tracks, adding capacity, improving safety, and reducing delays.

In summary:
Completed Projects:  28
Under Construction:  6
Final Design:  4
Environmental Review:  13
Remaining Projects:  19

TOTAL:  70

Cook County Commits $75 Million to CREATE

To implement the Connecting Cook County Long Range Transportation Plan, adopted on August 3, 2016, Cook County has committed $75 million for the CREATE Program's 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project (CIP). This commitment is a critical first step on Cook County's part to support and enhance the region's role as North America's freight capital.

 

2017 FASTLANE Application

The CREATE Program partners, along with Cook County and CMAP, submitted a 2017 FASTLANE* grant application in mid-December seeking $160 million in federal support for:

These five inter-related infrastructure improvements are central, both geographically and functionally, to reducing rail and highway delays and expanding freight, commuter and passenger railroad capacity in Chicago. FASTLANE grants are approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation. With the recent appointment of Elaine Chao as Secretary the CREATE partners remain hopeful that a favorable announcement will be made soon.

*Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-term Achievement of National Efficiencies

 

 

CREATE Among Top 40 Projects of "Major Economic Significance"

As part of the Build America Investment Initiative, the U.S. Department of Treasury commissioned a study to identify 40 proposed transportation and water infrastructure projects in the United States of major economic significance, but whose completion has slowed or is in jeopardy. CREATE was the only project in the Chicago region to make the list, recognizing the important role that public works infrastructure plays in supporting national economic growth. While 28 of the 70 CREATE projects have been completed, funding and a continued commitment is needed for the remaining projects in various phases of planning, design and construction.

 

Englewood Flyover Project Earns National Honor Award

In the Summer 2016 newsletter we mentioned that CREATE's Englewood Flyover P1 received the top "Engineering Excellence" award from the Illinois section of the American Council of Engineering Companies. The project went on to compete against other state winners at the national level. All national entries receive special recognition, but the Englewood Flyover reached the next level earning one of only 16 Honor Awards given in 2016. Congratulations to CREATE's P1 project team including TranSystems, Benesch and everyone involved in this successful undertaking to alleviate congestion and improve safety and air quality! In addition, the project team received the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association's 2016 Hay award for outstanding design.

 

Reinvigorating CREATE Facebook

We are improving our coverage of project construction and pictures, media attention, tours, etc. through the CREATE Facebook page. Don't delay and Like us today!

CREATE Partners

Amtrak

BNSF

Belt Railway Company of Chicago

Canadian Pacific

CN

Chicago Department of Transportation

CSX

Illinois Department of Transportation

Indiana Harbor Belt

Metra

Norfolk Southern

Union Pacific

USDOT