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While one Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program project moved closer to completion last month, another project got under way.
CREATE partners continued to upgrade infrastructure to speed up trains moving from the Belt Railway Co. of Chicago’s line to Norfolk Southern Railway’s mainline running along 95th Street and the Chicago Skyway/Interstate 90.
The project — which began in late March and at press time was scheduled to conclude in early May — calls for upgrading and modernizing tracks and signals on a half-mile stretch between 101st Street and Commercial Ave. The project will enable train speed to increase from 6 mph to 20 mph.
Meanwhile, federal, state and local officials joined CREATE representatives April 29 in Summit, Ill., at a groundbreaking ceremony for the B-8 Project, which includes the installation of a computerized signal system. The project is designed to relieve traffic congestion, enhance passenger-rail operations and improve freight-rail efficiency in Summit, Bridgeview and Bedford Park, Ill.
Funded through a public/private partnership, the CREATE program calls for developing one passenger- and four freight-rail corridors to reduce train delays, relieve traffic congestion, and improve the environment and public safety in Chicago. Projects include 25 new roadway underpasses or overpasses to separate vehicle/pedestrian and rail traffic; six overpasses to separate freight- and passenger-rail tracks; and upgrades to track, switches and signal systems.
In addition to the Belt Railway and NS, CREATE partners include Amtrak, BNSF Railway Co., Canadian National Railway Co., Canadian Pacific Railway, Chicago Department of Transportation, CSX Transportation, Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Co., Illinois DOT, Metra, Union Pacific Railroad and U.S. DOT.