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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

Chicago suburb to take wraps off CREATE's first grade separation

Four years after the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) program was introduced and hailed as the U.S. rail industry’s first major public-private partnership, the first grade separation in the program’s northeastern Illinois region has been completed.

On Sept. 1, the village of Franklin Park, Ill., will hold a dedication ceremony for the Grand Avenue Underpass, a $45 million grade separation.

As part of the project, which took nearly three years to complete, the city removed seven grade crossings, where traffic delays and accidents were common occurrences.

The six Class Is serving Chicago, Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corp. (Metra), federal government, state of Illinois and city of Chicago will fund the $1.5 billion CREATE program, which was first proposed in June 2003. The program calls for more than 70 projects, including the construction of rail corridors, flyovers and underpasses; grade separations; and track, signals and viaduct improvements.

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More News from 8/22/2007