Illinois gets Federal Grant to Reduce Railroad Delays on Chicago's South Side
Chicago's South Side will gain a lot of new train infrastructure to speed up travel for freight and passenger trains. The Federal Government has awarded Illinois $132 million, and construction is slated to begin this fall. "The $474 million 75th Street improvement project would eliminate the choke-point at Chicago’s Belt Junction, near 75th Street and Racine Avenue, where more than 80 Metra and freight trains cross each other’s paths daily," Mary Wisniewski writes for the Chicago Tribune.
A few blocks north of that nexus, there will also be some additional track built. "It includes a new CSX Railroad flyover bridge to eliminate intersections with other tracks, a 71st Street underpass just east of Western Avenue to reduce motorist delays, and new tracks and crossovers at belt railroads, where trains currently travel as slow as 10 mph, according to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office," Wisniewski reports. The project has a number of funders, "… the federal grant is being matched by $111 million from the Illinois Department of Transportation, $116 million from the American Association of Railroads, $78 million from Cook County, $23 million from Metra, $9 million from the city of Chicago and $5 million from Amtrak," Wisniewski writes.