CREATE is a first-of-its-kind partnership between the U.S. DOT, State of Illinois, Cook County, City of Chicago, Metra, Amtrak, and the nation's freight railroads. A project of national significance, CREATE will invest billions in critically needed improvements to increase the efficiency of the region's passenger and freight rail infrastructure and enhance the quality of life for Chicago-area residents.

Program Goals:

  • Improve passenger rail service
  • Reduce freight rail congestion to boost regional and national economic competitiveness
  • Reduce motorist delay due to rail conflict at grade crossings
  • Enhance public safety
  • Promote economic development
  • Create and retain jobs
  • Improve air quality
  • Reduce noise from idling or slow-moving trains

Click to View Project Status Map



Click to View CREATE Economic Benefits Brochure (PDF)

 


Overview of 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project

 

 

 

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Review the “CREATE Projects for Bid” workshop presentation (PDF) from the January 24 Get On Board business-to-business event and sign up for CREATE Program procurement notifications


Recent News

Congressman Jesús “Chuy” Garcia Tours CREATE Projects

The CREATE partners had the honor of providing Congressman Jesús “Chuy” Garcia (IL-4), member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, a tour of CREATE projects on November 7, 2019. In addition to highlighting CREATE’s national importance, the partners relayed the local mobility, transit, education and workforce benefits associated with CREATE projects such as the Harlem Avenue Grade Separation and 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project. “Everyone in our city needs transportation to get to school, go to work, or run a business,” said Congressman Garcia. “Yesterday the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program showed me their projects to improve our region. I got several ideas for my work on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Future of Transportation caucus I launched recently. Thanks to the CREATE program for making our city better.” Read the full announcement here (PDF).

CREATE Partners Initiate Education Program in Conjunction with 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project

On October 15, 2019, CREATE Program partners joined community leaders and residents from the Ashburn, Auburn Gresham, Englewood and West Chatham neighborhoods of Chicago to announce bolstered education programs for students and residents, as part of the 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project (75th St. CIP). The CREATE partners committed to supporting programs in these communities to encourage students’ interest and foster learning in transportation, engineering and technical fields throughout the design and construction of the 75th St. CIP, which is anticipated to last through 2024. Starting with the current school year, professionals working on the 75th St. CIP will share career insights and technical project information with local students, as well as host field trips and expose high school students to the engineering challenges and skills required for large transportation infrastructure projects like this. More than a dozen internship positions for young adults are being planned for summer 2020. Read the full press release here (PDF).

CREATE Partners Receive Invest in Cook Grant

The CREATE partners are pleased to announce that the CREATE Program has been awarded a 2019 Invest in Cook grant to support completion of Design Engineering (Phase II) for the GS21a project, the 95th Street and Union Station Grade Separation. When completed, this grade separation will reduce roadway congestion, improve safety and eliminate the potential for collisions between vehicles and trains. This project is especially important as this is a “911 Critical Crossing.” To learn more about the Invest in Cook program, visit: https://www.cookcountyil.gov/investincook

CREATE Partners Receive $19 Million CRISI Grant for Dolton Junction Interlocking Project

The CREATE partners are pleased to announce that the Dolton Junction Interlocking project in Dolton and Riverdale, IL will receive $19 million in federal funds to help ease rail congestion in the south suburbs and far south side of Chicago. This project will reduce gate down time at nine at-grade crossings thereby reducing delay to motorists, buses and businesses operating in the area. Funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation's Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Grant Program. Read the press release here (PDF).

BNSF Connection Project (WA4) Complete

BNSF Railway and the CREATE partners are pleased to announce the completion of the BNSF Connection project (WA4). The BNSF Connection provides network benefits for freight and commuter train operations, enabling trains going to and from many other lines to pass through this corridor with less delay. With the completion of this BNSF Connection project, half of the eight CREATE projects along the Western Avenue Corridor are now in service. See the full announcement (PDF).

U.S. Congressman Dan Lipinski, IDOT Secretary Omer Osman, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, AAR President & CEO Ian Jefferies and other CREATE Program Partners Celebrate Groundbreaking for Argo Connections (B9) Project

On April 26, 2019, U.S. Congressman Daniel Lipinski (3rd District of Illinois) and the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program partners, including Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Omer Osman, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, President and CEO of the Association of American Railroads (AAR) Ian Jefferies and CSX General Manager - Midwest William Blanchetti participated in a groundbreaking ceremony Friday at the Argo Connections (B9) project. In 2018, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $132 million to the CREATE partners through the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant program. The federal investment combined with state, local and private money funds the $32 million construction for the Argo Connections project. The Argo Connections project (B9) is scheduled to take two years to complete. Construction will begin in May 2019 and completion is anticipated for mid-2021. Read the press release here (PDF).

CREATE Program Celebrates INFRA Grant Award

The Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program partners celebrated receipt of $132 million in federal funding for the 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project (CIP) on Monday, October 1 with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao. Secretary Chao and other special guests shared remarks regarding the national importance of this work to increase the reliability and efficiency of the region’s railroad infrastructure, create jobs in the region and improve community safety.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) INFRA grant award is a portion of the $474 million effort to separate several freight and passenger rail lines in the 75th Street corridor that currently intersects the Ashburn, Englewood, Auburn Gresham, and West Chatham neighborhoods. Approximately 100 trains a day, including 30 Metra trains, pass through daily. Completion of these projects in 2025 will result in $3.8 billion in new economic benefits and reduce rail and roadway congestion.

The INFRA grant includes the following projects –

  • Forest Hill Flyover (P3) (PDF)
  • 71st Street Road/Rail At-Grade Separation (GS19) (PDF)
  • Belt Junction and 80th Street Junction Replacements (EW2) (PDF)
  • Rock Island Connection (P2) (PDF)
  • Argo Connections (B9) (PDF)

CREATE is a program of national significance and is a first-of-its-kind partnership between U.S. DOT, the State of Illinois, Cook County, City of Chicago, Metra, Amtrak and the nation's freight railroads.