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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

CREATE partners seek $16 million TIGER V grant for grade separation


The Illinois Department of Transportation has submitted an application for a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) V grant on behalf of Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) program partners.

The partners requested the $16 million grant last month to complete a $31 million grade separation involving a Union Pacific Railroad line and 25th Avenue in Bellwood, Ill., according to the CREATE program's summer newsletter. The segment of work, known as CREATE Project GS 6, calls for building either an overpass or underpass.

The grade separation would reduce roadway congestion and improve safety through a corridor from St. Charles Avenue to Lake Street, as well as improve access to a proposed relocated Metra station, according to a project summary.

"Over 5,000 vehicles are delayed at this location daily, yielding 42,300 annual motorist hours of delay that would be alleviated by this project," the summary states.

CREATE partners have submitted a grant application in each round of the TIGER program, and previously obtained TIGER I and TIGER IV grants totaling $110.4 million. The U.S. Department of Transportation expects to announce TIGER V grant recipients sometime in September.

The more than $3 billion CREATE program involves 70 projects designed to separate freight and passenger trains at six key junctions in the Chicago area, increase rail capacity, speed and reliability, and eliminate 25 grade crossings. The program is managed via a public-private partnership among Amtrak, the Association of American Railroads, BNSF Railway Co., Belt Railway Co. of Chicago, Chicago DOT, Canadian Pacific, CN, CSX Transportation, Illinois DOT, Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad, Metra, Norfolk Southern Railway and UP.

Of the 70 projects, 17 have been completed, 18 are under construction/design, 13 are under environmental review and 22 are in other planning stages, according to the newsletter.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/31/2013