75th Street Corridor Improvement Project Update

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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Courtesy of CREATE

CHICAGO – The CREATE Program gives a progress update on its 75th St. CIP, specifically projects P3, GS19, P2, and EW2.

The CREATE Program gave an update on the 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project. In October 2022, crews broke ground on the Forest Hill Flyover (Project P3) and 71st Street Grade Separation (Project GS19). In an effort to “untangle” a rail chokepoint, these two projects that makeup the 75th St. CIP will eliminate or at the very least reduce conflicts between freight and passenger service.

Courtesy of CREATE

According to the newsletter, TranSystems and a group of 15 DBEs (Disadvantaged Business Enterprises) will provide engineering and administrative management services for CSX. The other two projects, Rock Island Connection (Project P2) and 80th Street Junction Replacements (Project EW2) are in the final design stage. Those two projects are currently seeking funding for construction. 

The 71st Street Grade Separation Project (Project GS19) has linked its stage 1 construction work schedule with the Forest Hill Flyover (Project P3).  This allows for better efficiency of design and construction. Once the P3 construction is finished, the “final section of GS19 will begin construction in 2025-26.”

As of reporting, the completed work includes:

  1. November to December 2022: Pest abatement and tree removal
  2. January to February 2023: CSX track crews built temporary runaround “shoofly” tracks to keep trains running around the flyover construction zone
  3. Early March 2023: Additional tree removal near 68th Street and Bell Avenue. 

There are also mobility improvements around the community which include repaving neighborhood streets, repairing curbs and sidewalks, and making improvements to infrastructure under rail viaducts, street tree planting, improving bus stops and ADA ramps.

Courtesy of CREATE

The CREATE Program also gave a progress update on the 80th Street Junction Replacements (Project EW2) and the Rock Island Connection (Project P2). Below is a list of procurements that have been started to advance said work:

  1. “EW2 Design Services: – Union Pacific selected a team led by HDR in September 2022 to provide final track design and engineering services for the Union Pacific-led portion of the EW2 project.
  2. “EW2 Rock Island Bridge Raise 87 – This Metra project consists of modifying and raising selected spans of Rock Island Bridge 87 at Metra Rock Island District MP 8.71 to provide additional clearance for Norfolk Southern and Belt Railway Company (BRC) tracks under the bridge. Final design is expected to be completed in 2024, with construction bids to follow soon after. 
  3. “EW2 Right-of-Way (ROW) – Union Pacific issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) in October 2023 for track management, bridges, and property acquisition services for their segment of the EW2 project.
  4. “EW2/P2 Preliminary Signaling – This BRC-led work will coordinate design of all signal modifications between the Ashburn Interlocking at the west end of the project and the Dan Ryan Expressway at the east end. IDOT issued a Notice to Proceed (NTP) in November 2023. 
  5. “Project P2 ROW Assessment Services – Project P2 will create a Metra flyover structure connecting the Southwest Service (SWS) line with the Rock Island District (RID) line. This new structure will require right of way acquisition, and Metra issued a Letter of Interest and Qualifications (LIQ) in April 2022 for related professional services. Metra and other professional services consultants also continue to prepare final design plans for this work.” 
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