July 30, 2013 – Summer Update 2013 Newsletter

In This Issue

  • U.S. House Roundtable
  • Out and About
  • CREATE Going to Work
  • Contractor Spotlight: AC Iron Installs Rebar on Two Projects
  • Building CREATE
  • Current CREATE Project Status
  • TIGER application for Bellwood Grade Separation

U.S. House Roundtable on CREATE

On June 10th, U.S. House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, convened a roundtable discussion in Chicago to examine ongoing efforts to improve the region’s roadway, passenger and rail transportation congestion. The CREATE Program and its successes were the focus of the hearings.

Subcommittee Chair, Jeff Denham (R-CA), was joined by fellow subcommittee members Dan Lipinski (D- IL), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Cheri Bustos (R-IL) as well as Bobby Rush (D-IL).

Witnesses included:
Bill Thompson, Association of American Railroads
Jeffrey Sriver, Chicago Department of Transportation
Brad O’Halloran, Metra Chairman
Bob Guy, United Transportation Union
Doug Whitley, Illinois Chamber of Commerce

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Out and About

The CREATE partners have given many presentations and project tours so far in 2013. In April over 30 participants joined a tour of CREATE projects as part of the American Planning Association annual meeting.

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IDOT, CDOT and railroad representatives have also provided an update to both the CMAP Freight Committee and Regional Coordinating Committee, the World Road Association, the American Association of Port Authorities, the National Industrial Transportation League and other groups.

To request a CREATE presentation or update, email info@createprogram.org.

CREATE Going to Work

CREATE partners recently participated in an IIT DBE Symposium, an American Subcontractors Association event and the “Winning with the State” business forum for minority and women-owned firms. CREATE partners will actively continue outreach to the contractor community. If you are not already on our interested supplier list or procurement email distribution list, sign up today!

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Joe Shacter, IDOT's Director of the Division of Public and Intermodal Transportation, opens a CREATE presentation at the "Winning with the State" DBE event on March 4, 2013. Also at the March 4th event, NS had a supplier representative at the CREATE booth. The CREATE partners provided refreshments and lunch for approximately 200 attendees.

Also stay tuned for more information about a CREATE “Get On Board” Business Networking event on October 16th! It will be held at the Ford Chicago Assembly Plant at 126th & Torrence Avenue in Chicago. This event will connect rail industry executives, government transportation agency heads and prime contractors with disadvantaged, minority, and women-owned firms seeking contracting and sub-contracting opportunities in engineering, design, construction, and support services on CREATE projects.

Contractor Spotlight: AC Iron Installs Rebar on Two Projects

AC Iron is a certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise based in Lansing, Illinois that has supplied and installed reinforcing steel and shear studs for two CREATE projects. For both the 130th and Torrence grade separation (GS15a) in Chicago and the Belmont Road grade separation (GS7) in Downers Grove the company installed shear connectors for concrete that adhere to bridges and walls. The iron is welded on to form a solid connection when concrete is poured. For AC Iron’s ongoing $2.9 million GS15a contract, the firm is installing 1,500 tons of rebar over four years, which will result in 20 job-years of work (5 people working for four years). The $1 million contract for work on the GS7 project, which was completed in 2012, resulted in 5 job years of employment. Owner Adrian Caballero said, “The CREATE projects have been critical to sustaining the company during the economic downturn. In particular, the GS15a job, which involves construction over four years, has provided stability and continuous work for the company.”

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AC Iron employees install rebar at the 130th and Torrence (GS15a) project site in Chicago.

Building CREATE

This construction season is seeing many CREATE projects make significant progress towards completion on construction. Work on the Union Pacific Third Mainline (CREATE Project B2) will be completed this fall. This project has included station improvements to Metra passenger stations on the UP-W line at Berkeley and Bellwood as a result of the addition of a new third main line track for commuter and freight trains through this area. Passenger station improvements included construction of a pedestrian underpass at each of the stations. This project added a 3.5-mile third main track on the UP Geneva Subdivision, as well as construction of a new railroad bridge over Addison Creek, allowing for increased speed on the current connection between the Indiana Harbor Belt (IHB) and UP. Last year the project also completed a new flyover connection from the IHB to the UP, which now crosses over the UP main line tracks and connects with both the new third main track and Proviso Yard lead tracks. When complete, the improvements will also upgrade the connection track between the UP and IHB from 10 mph to 20 mph.

Blue Island Junction (WA10) in Blue Island is also currently under construction and expected to be complete in late summer. This project installed a series of crossovers between CSX’s Blue Island and Elsdon Subdivisions, as well as new signals at Blue Island Junction to facilitate bi-directional movements. A crossover is a pair of switches that connects two parallel rail tracks, allowing a train on one track to cross over to the other.

Many grade separations are moving ahead too, including 71st Street in Bridgeview (GS14) which is anticipated to be complete later this year. The 130th and Torrence grade separation project (GS15a), which includes five major bridge structures, remains on schedule to shift NS trains to their new track alignment this fall. Completion is anticipated in 2015.

Numerous other projects are also in construction this season. Check out the status of all of the CREATE projects at www.createprogram.org.

Current CREATE Project Status

Completed Projects 17
Under Construction/Design 18
Environmental Review 13
Remaining Projects 22

TIGER application for Bellwood Grade Separation

On June 3, the Illinois Department of Transportation submitted a TIGER V application on behalf of the CREATE Partners. CREATE requested $16 million dollars to complete the $31 million project (CREATE Project GS6). DOT received 568 applications with the total application ask over $9 billion. $474 million is available.

CREATE has submitted an application for each round of TIGER and has been successful in TIGER I &IV for a total of $110.4 million. You can read more about this application or previous CREATE TIGER applications on the CREATE grants page.