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A $67 million grade separation project in Bensenville, Illinois, has been completed as part of the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) program, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced last week.
The project involved an intersection improvement at Irving Park Road (Illinois Highway 19) and York Road, an effort that followed a railroad overpass companion project built on Irving Park Road, department officials said in a press release.
As part of the CREATE program, the projects were designed to reduce congestion, improve safety and create economic opportunity in the region.
The new railroad overpass, CREATE project GS16, eliminated a notorious bottleneck by lowering Irving Park Road and building a Canadian Pacific railroad overpass that is separate from regular vehicle traffic.
The grade separation enabled a daily average of 25 trains to run uninterrupted at all times, department officials said.
"We'll see huge benefits for multiple modes of transportation, paving the way for future economic development, improved freight deliveries, faster commute times and, ultimately, a better quality of life in an important part of our state," said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn.
The overpass and intersection improvements by IDOT were done in conjunction with the Village of Bensenville, DuPage County, Cook County, Chicago's O'Hare Modernization Program, CP and Metra.
Launched in 2003, the $4.4 billion CREATE program involves 70 projects designed to separate freight and passenger trains at six key junctions; eliminate about two dozen crossings; and increase rail capacity, speed and reliability in the Chicago area. The program is managed through a public-private partnership among Amtrak, the Association of American Railroads, BNSF Railway Co., Belt Railway Co. of Chicago, the Chicago and Illinois departments of transportation, CP, CN, CSX, Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Co., Metra, Norfolk Southern Railway and Union Pacific Railroad.