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

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Upcoming Event – January 24, 2019

The next CREATE Get On Board business-to-business networking event will be held on Thursday, January 24, 2019. Certified disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) businesses and exhibitors should attend to network and learn about CREATE project bid opportunities.


Recent News

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.

Illinois Competitive Freight Program Announces Award for Columbus Ave Grade Separation (GS11)

The CREATE Program’s GS11 grade separation project at the intersection of Columbus Avenue and the Belt Railway Company of Chicago will receive $49.9 million in funding through IDOT’s Illinois Competitive Freight Program, which is administered by IDOT using federal funds. The Columbus Avenue grade separation on Chicago’s south side will eliminate a grade crossing, reduce congestion and improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and over 11,500 vehicles per day.

Invest in Cook Grant Awarded for CREATE Project

On July 25, 2018 Cook County announced the 2018 Invest in Cook grant recipients. The Dolton Interlocking Improvement (CREATE Project WA11) in Dolton, Illinois was awarded $600,000. This funding, combined with $600,000 from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and $300,000 from the private railroad partners, will allow the completion of right-of-way acquisition. The Phase II design for this project, funded by the private railroad partners and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), is nearing completion positioning the project competitively for construction funding.

When completed, Dolton Interlocking (WA11) will improve rail capacity thereby increasing freight and passenger train speeds, as well as improve nine highway-rail crossings in Dolton and Riverdale. These improvements will reduce delays at grade crossings, reduce congestion, and improve safety in both communities.