Railroads, along with federal, state and local officials broke ground in Chicago for the $474 million 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project, which aims to eliminate one of the most congested points in the U.S. rail network.
The Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program is a strategic public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the State of Illinois, Cook County, City of Chicago, Metra, Amtrak and the nation’s freight railroads. These partners, through CREATE, invest billions in critical infrastructure improvement projects to increase the reliability and efficiency of passenger and freight rail operations in the heart of the nation’s rail network and enhance the quality of life for Chicago-area residents.
Each day, nearly 500 freight trains — with over 37,000 rail cars — and 760 passenger trains pass through the region, making Chicago the busiest rail hub in the U.S. rail network. The 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project (CIP) leverages private and public dollars to address one of the most complex and complicated segments of rail in the U.S. The DOT’s INFRA Grant that completed the funding needs for the 75th Street CIP was awarded in June 2018. Specifically, this project will create faster and more reliable service for Metra riders on more than 30 daily trains that run through the corridor. It will also benefit freight customers, reduce emissions due to train idling and will eliminate 3.5 hours of daily road closures for drivers.
“The CREATE Program is grounded in a simple idea — solutions to big challenges only happen when everyone is at the table,” said Edward R. Hamberger, President and CEO of the Association of American Railroads. “We are all committed to improving service for both Chicago rail commuters and freight customers nationwide, and this project dramatically moves the ball forward by untangling one of the most congested points in the U.S. rail network. America’s railroads are here for the long-haul as we continue to advance rail in Chicago.”
“The Illinois Department of Transportation received one of the largest INFRA grants this year, totaling $132 million through an exemplary public-private partnership created to improve freight connectivity, decrease congestion, and enhance safety along this significant rail network,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.