Officials celebrate completion of the CREATE Argo Connections (B9) Project

Written by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
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David C. Lester

The ongoing Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program (CREATE) has completed another project.

U.S. Senator Richard Durbin, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, U.S. Representative Marie Newman, Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman, CSX General Manager Edward Steinbeck, Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways Director of Strategic Planning Jesse Elam and additional CREATE Program partners attended a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the Argo Connections (B9) Project. The Argo Connections (B9) Project is the 32nd project completed out of the 70 that are part of the CREATE Program.

The Argo Connections (B9) Project constructed a new double track connection and crossovers –switches that allow trains to pass one another rather than waiting behind one another –between the Belt Railway Company of Chicago (BRC) and Indiana Harbor Belt (IHB) Railroad/CSX line at Archer and 63rdStreet. Additional crossovers were also added to the control point at 71stStreet. This project connects the CREATE Beltway and East-West corridors and upgrades mainline crossovers to accommodate higher speeds from 10 mph to 25 mph, reducing congestion and minimizing freight and passenger conflict and delays.

“The completion of the Argo Connections Project marks the latest step in the CREATE program initiative to increase efficiency in our railway system,” U.S. Senator Dick Durbin said. “I have long supported federal investment in the CREATE program to deliver faster travel times for all the freight trains that come through the Chicago area en route to destinations across the country. CREATE will also improve safety for our passenger rail system and help reduce delays at grade-level crossings.”

“For too long, congestion and delays have defined transportation and commerce in the Chicagoland area,” U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth said. “Illinoisans deserve a safe, efficient and reliable rail system, and today we’re closer to that reality. The completion of CREATE Argo Connections (B9) Project will reduce delays, increase capacity and lead to faster and more reliable travel times—creating jobs, making our roads safer and easing supply chain delays in the process. I’ll keep working with local, state and federal officials to help ensure we continue to bring the federal support needed to make these kind of projects possible.”

“The completion of the 32nd project in the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program is a testament to the progress we can make when we invest in a better tomorrow,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Our Rebuild Illinois capital plan provides more than $490 million for CREATE, joining with local, federal and private funds to benefit the Chicago region. When we invest in our neighbors and our neighborhoods, we advance our collective interests across the state.”

In 2018, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $132 million to the CREATE Program partners through the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant program for the Argo Connections (B9) project and the 75thStreet Corridor Improvement Project. The federal investment combined with state, local, and private funding supported the construction of the Argo Connections (B9) project.

For more information, please see the complete press release here.

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