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Existing Situation

Existing Situation - Fixing the Problems
The CREATE partners recently secured funding for the 75th St. CIP’s final design and partial construction.  In 2018, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $132 million to the CREATE partners through the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant program. The federal investment combined with state, local and private money will fund the design and construction of the following 75th St CIP projects. The CREATE partners will continue to seek funding to construct Belt Junction and 80th Street Junction replacements and the Rock Island Connection.

Design and construction of Forest Hill Flyover (P3)
Project P3 consists of a new CSX north-south rail flyover structure to eliminate conflicts between north-south and east-west train movements at Forest Hill Junction. The design (Phase II) and construction (Phase III) work will begin in 2019 and continue into 2024.

Design and construction of 71st Street grade separation (GS19)
Project GS19 consists of a road-rail grade separation of 71st Street and the railroad tracks near Bell Avenue. The design (Phase II) and construction (Phase III) work will begin in 2019 and continue into 2024.

Design of Belt Junction and 80th Street Junction replacements (EW2)
Project EW2 will reconfigure the east-west tracks at Forest Hill Junction, add tracks to remove the bottleneck at Belt Junction, realign track and signal systems between Belt Junction and the Dan Ryan (Interstate 94) Expressway, reconstruct 80th Street Junction, relocate UP to a currently unused NS alignment, and add positive train control (PTC) along this stretch of tracks. EW2 also includes a new Metra mainline track and improvements to several existing viaducts over city streets. The design (Phase II) work will begin in 2019 and is expected to continue until 2022. CREATE Program partners are seeking construction (Phase III) funding for this project.

Design of Metra Rock Island connection (P2)
Project P2 will build a flyover structure to connect the Metra SouthWest Service (SWS) mainline tracks to the Rock Island Line. The design (Phase II) work will begin in 2019 and is expected to continue until 2022. CREATE Program partners are seeking construction (Phase III) funding for this project. The rail improvements will allow additional Metra trains to access LaSalle Street Station and passenger rail capacity gains at Union Station.

Community Benefits
Transportation
The 75th St. CIP will deliver transportation benefits through construction of a road-rail grade separation project, improve viaducts that are a safety and mobility concern in the community and improve local mobility to further enhance safety and accessibility.

Economic
The 75th St. CIP will provide economic benefits by creating and promoting contracting opportunities for certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs), implementing job training programs and supporting education in community schools. Contracting DBEs will be engaged and informed of design and construction contracting opportunities for the 75th St. CIP. An event to encourage networking and project education for interested DBEs was completed in January 2019 and another is planned for 2021. In addition, goals for DBE participation on each publicly bid design and construction package will be set in accordance with federal and state requirements.

Environmental
By removing conflicts between freight and passenger trains and eliminating the grade crossing at 71st St., the 75th St. CIP will eliminate 18,500 annual train passenger hours of delay, increase train reliability, speed and capacity and eliminate congestion, delays and idling for motorists.


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