The CREATE program, a public-private partnership to improve the transportation network in the Chicago area, has received a $12.9 million Federal Railroad Administration grant for the Pullman Junction project. The project includes the construction of a second main track in the south Chicago communities of Burnside and Cottage Grove Heights, improving existing rail track geometry, increasing operating speeds, and upgrading signals and switches in the vicinity of Pullman Junction. The project will increase efficiency by removing bottlenecks and replacing outdated infrastructure that slows train movements and limits capacity.
The grant application for the project was submitted by the Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways on behalf of the CREATE partners, including the Illinois Department of Transportation, Chicago Department of Transportation and Association of American Railroads (AAR). AAR represents ten of the freight, passenger, and commuter railroads serving the Chicago region.
“The Pullman Junction project has national impacts by addressing a major chokepoint and improving supply chain fluidity for goods moving through Chicago to markets across North America,” said Ian Jefferies, AAR president and CEO. “This CRISI grant will pay dividends beyond Chicagoland to customers and families across the country who depend on the diverse products moved by rail.”
“We are proud to collaborate with our partners to help secure this important grant and deliver yet another major piece of the CREATE Program,” stated Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “These investments will pay dividends for efficient transportation far into the future, while improving safety and quality of life throughout the state and the region.”
This federal award leverages $6.5 million from IDOT and $6.5 million from AAR to complete construction of the project.