The $67-million grade separation project in Bensenville, Ill., which is part of the Chicago Regional Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program (CREATE), began construction Feb. 19.
The project, which is funded through Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital program, consists of constructing a rail flyover over Irving Park Road, just east of York Road. The project is expected to create 870 jobs and boost long-term economic development by speeding up the flow of freight and vehicles on the southwestern edge of O’Hare Airport.
“Illinois has a world-class transportation system that serves as a hub for the nation,” Gov. Quinn said. “Anyone who is familiar with the Bensenville area knows that this grade crossing is a huge frustration for motorists. We’re eliminating this roadblock to save drivers from thousands of hours stuck in traffic every year, all the while creating jobs and paving the way for more economic growth.”
The project is a partnership that includes the Village of Bensenville, DuPage County, the city of Chicago’s O’Hare Modernization Program, Canadian Pacific and Metra.
The work includes reconstructing the intersection by lowering Irving Park Road and constructing a bridge for the Canadian Pacific tracks. An average of 25 freight trains pass through the crossing each day, delaying 6,400 vehicles and costing motorists 1,500 daily hours of delays that will be eliminated as a result of this project. The rail bridge is expected to be completed by late fall 2014.