Today, Congressman Dan Lipinski announced that a new $10.4 million federal grant will pay for two projects that are part of the CREATE rail modernization project, reducing freight congestion and delays for Amtrak and Metra Heritage Corridor riders.
The funding for the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency program (CREATE) comes from the Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program.
"Having led members of the Illinois Congressional delegation in sending a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood urging the award of this funding, I am pleased to have once again helped to secure additional dollars for CREATE," Rep. Lipinski said. "Back in 2005, I secured the first $100 million for this critical program to promote economic growth by untangling our rail lines and reducing congestion for freight railways, passenger and commuter rail, and motorists. Since then I have been proud to work at both the federal level and with the Illinois General Assembly to obtain substantial additional funding for numerous CREATE projects that are benefitting Third District residents in both Chicago and the suburbs."
The $10.4 million grant is paying for two projects between 16th Street and Archer Avenue in Chicago that will construct additional rail tracks and modernize the existing switching system, which currently requires train conductors to exit their trains to throw switches by hand. These improvements will help reduce delays for Amtrak and Metra Heritage Corridor trains that cross the impacted corridor.
CREATE is a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership. The CREATE Partners include the U.S. Department of Transportation, Illinois Department of Transportation, Chicago Department of Transportation and the Association of American Railroads. The program includes 70 critical rail and road infrastructure improvements in Northeastern Illinois aimed at reducing congestion for freight, passenger and commuter rail users, and motorists.