September 21st, 2010

In This Issue

TIGER II Grant Application Submitted

Port of Seattle or "Port of Chicago"?

ARRA Update: TIGER I & HSR

Projects on the Move

2010 DBE Outreach

TIGER II Grant Application Submitted

On August 23rd, the Illinois Department of Transportation submitted a TIGER II application on behalf of the CREATE Partners. Funds for three (WA2, WA3, B9/EW1) projects were requested totaling $85.2 million. All three of the projects were previously submitted in IDOT's TIGER I application. For all of these projects Federal funding would be obligated by September 2012.

Some of the benefits of the submitted projects include: Reduced train hours in the Chicago region of 4,126/year, leading to reduced shipment delays and resulting in logistics cost savings of $61.7 million/year, boosting national and regional competitiveness.

Reduced rail transit delay of 6,638 passenger hours per year for savings of $163,428 per year, and reduced motorist delay of 47,644 hours annually for savings of $1.2 million per year.

Expected to provide direct and indirect employment of 1,158 employment years.

The CREATE partners previously were awarded $100 million from the TIGER program. (For a status update on TIGER projects see PROJECTS on the MOVE below.)

The full TIGER II application is available at CREATE TIGER II Application.

Port of Seattle or "Port of Chicago"?

In June, Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma Commissioners and their staff toured the CREATE projects and Chicago area rail terminals to better understand the route their container traffic takes as it reaches its final customers. More than sixty percent of consumer goods that pass through the Ports of Seattle/Tacoma are destined for Chicago and the Midwest market, leading port staff to remark that they frequently call themselves the "Port of Chicago."

The Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma lent their support to the CREATE TIGER II application by writing in their letter to Secretary LaHood, "The Northwest ports recognize that rail bottlenecks in Chicago have a negative impact on our customers, and we support improvements all along the supply chain from coast to coast. As trade continues to grow, especially to and from Asia, it's critical for infrastructure improvements to be made along key national freight corridors to provide for efficient and economical freight mobility." Port of Seattle/Tacoma Letter

The CREATE partners look forward to working with the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma to highlight the need for freight improvements throughout the country.

ARRA Update: TIGER I & HSR Projects

The CREATE Partners received $100 million in TIGER funds earlier this year to fund construction of five projects. Final funding agreements were reached with US DOT in July. Work began on a segment of the B4/B5 project (LaGrange/Broadview Signalization) and is anticipated to be completed by December 2011. See B4/B5 Fact Sheet for more information. One of three segments for the B2 project (Union Pacific Third Mainline-Proviso Yard) was put out for bid in August (B2 Fact Sheet). The project award is anticipated September 24th. The 71st Street grade separation in Bridgeview (GS14) (GS14 Fact Sheet) is currently under final design and construction is anticipated later this fall. Finally, the City of Chicago Department of Transportation will conduct improvements on 14 viaducts in 2011 (Viaduct Improvement Program Fact Sheet).

The CREATE Partners announced January 29, 2010 that the CREATE Program will receive $133 million as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for a critical rail/rail flyover near 63rd and State Streets in the Englewood community on the south side of Chicago (CREATE Project P1). Metra recently posted an invitation to bid. Information on this project can be found at Doing Business. It is expected to start construction later this year.

PROJECTS on the MOVE

130th & Torrence

The largest CREATE grade separation began the construction bid process in mid-August. CDOT posted an invitation to bid for work on the CREATE GS15a Project - Realignment and Grade Separation of E. 130th St. / S. Brainard Ave. / S. Torrence Ave. (GS15a Fact Sheet). A pre-bid meeting was held September 9th. Bids will be opened on Thursday, September 30, 2010. More information can be found at City of Chicago Procurement Services.

75th Street Corridor Improvement Project (CIP)

The 75th CIP combines CREATE projects P2, P3, EW2 and GS19 into a single project for the Environmental Impact Study. As reported in early August, the web site for the 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project (CIP) was launched and community outreach began. This web site provides study information and links to environmental documents, newsletters, project schedule, and upcoming public events.

The purpose of this combined project is to reduce rail congestion and delays between the Dan Ryan Expressway and Ashburn, to increase capacity for Metra trains, move SouthWest Service to LaSalle Street Station and to eliminate rail traffic conflicts between the Metra SouthWest service passenger trains, Amtrak and the CSX, NS, UP and BRC freight lines. Additionally the grade crossing separation will reduce auto traffic congestion resulting from freight trains blocking the roadway. For more information, visit the web site at 75th St. CIP Website.

2010 DBE Outreach

This year, the CREATE Program, represented by its partner agencies, participated in four events to outreach to Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs). Earlier this year CREATE representatives participated in the IDOT Business to Business Exchange for DBEs, Chicago Business Opportunity Fair sponsored by the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council, U.S. DOT's Chicago Small Business Day - Connecting Business with Opportunities, and Metra's Doing Business with Metra event. The CREATE Program partners remain committed to sharing information with all contractors and notifying them of business opportunities on a timely basis through our procurement email distribution list. If you are interested in more CREATE project information, please sign up for our procurement distribution list by sending an email to the CREATE Program at info@createprogram.org and note "Procurement" in the subject line. For more information see Doing Business with CREATE.