A $9.7 million project to add freight railroad mobility and relieve congestion for the commuting public in the Chicago region has been completed in Blue Island, Ill.
The project (WA10) is part of the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program and led by CSX Transportation engineering and operations employees. The scope of the project included installing new crossovers, new bi-directional switching and signal modernization. There were approximately 130 railroad crew members and contractors who worked on the project, which will reduce idling in Chicago neighborhoods, balance freight movements between freight railroads and add capacity for projected growing global freight demand. Presently, up to 33 daily trains are directly impacted by the project.
“The CREATE program continues to be a strategic investment in our state and nation’s future as a transportation leader”, said U. S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush [IL-01]. “My initial support for the CREATE program came as a result of the issues raised in communities in my district experiencing idling trains awaiting clearance through the congested Blue Island Yard, so I am pleased to see the various upgrades to the yard, including this WA10 project, come to completion.”
The federal government provided $6.4 million, CSX Transportation provided $3.2 million and the state provided $92,000 to complete the project.
“This is an important project that will have a significant impact in Blue Island, South Suburbs and Chicagoland area as a whole, said Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. “The commuting public will not only see a reduction in idling in Chicago neighborhoods but a balance in freight movements between freight railroads, while also adding capacity for projected growing global freight demand.”
“Both the motoring public and freight railroads are already seeing benefits from CREATE projects like this. We now can deploy trains in a measurably more efficient way through the Chicago area as the result of this project. CSX and our partners are grateful to the Illinois Congressional Delegation, Governor Quinn, and Blue Island Mayor Domingo F. Vargas for their support and cooperation,” said John Bradley, CSX Transportation’s Chicago Division manager.