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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

Politicians break ground for Englewood Flyover project


Yesterday, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), and other federal, state and local dignitaries broke ground on the Englewood Flyover, the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) program’s second-largest project.

The $133 million project calls for building a triple-track bridge in Englewood, Ill., to carry three of Metra’s Rock Island District Line tracks over four Norfolk Southern Railway tracks. To be completed in spring 2014, the project also will accommodate additional tracks for proposed 110-mph Amtrak service from Chicago to Detroit, Cleveland and other eastern points.

The flyover will eliminate a chokepoint where NS and Metra tracks intersect; each day, about 78 Metra trains, 46 NS trains and 14 Amtrak trains travel through the intersection. The bridge also will help eliminate more than 7,500 hours in Metra train delays.

“The Englewood Flyover will make life easier for tens of thousands of commuters every day,” said Quinn in a prepared statement. “This vital project will eliminate a problem spot and set the stage for future passenger-rail growth while boosting Illinois’ position as the economic engine of the Midwest.”
The federal government is providing $126 million and the state of Illinois, $6.6 million for the project. CREATE program partners previously contributed $3 million toward design costs.

The program’s public/private partners include Amtrak, the Association of American Railroads, Belt Railway Co. of Chicago, BNSF Railway Co., CSX Transportation, CN, Canadian Pacific, Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Co., Metra, NS, Union Pacific Railroad, and the Illinois and Chicago DOTs. The CREATE program includes 70 projects — such as overpasses, underpasses, viaduct improvements, grade crossing enhancements, and track and signal upgrades — that are designed to restructure, modernize and expand the Chicago region’s passenger- and freight-rail network.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/11/2011