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CREATE partners receive $19 million for Dolton Junction Interlocking Project


U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has awarded a total of $19,206,398 to the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program’s Dolton Junction Interlocking project in Dolton and Riverdale, Illinois. This project will help ease rail congestion in the south suburbs and far south side of Chicago. This funding was awarded through the USDOT’s Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Grant Program. See the application.

“This important investment will not only improve rail speed and service reliability, it will help keep passengers, drivers and pedestrians safe. It also creates good paying jobs for the people of Dolton and the Southside of Chicago,” said Durbin. “Senator Duckworth and I are proud to support this improvement project, and will continue advocating for strong investments in Illinois’ transportation infrastructure.”

“Over a hundred freight trains and several passenger trains use the Dolton Interlocking System each day, creating significant congestion and causing delays and aggravation for Illinoisans and rail users,” said Duckworth. “This critical funding will modernize the interlocking and relieve this bottleneck to improve reliability and boost our economic development. I am committed to working with Senator Durbin and other members of the Illinois congressional delegation to promote infrastructure improvements across Chicagoland and the state of Illinois and bring back as much investment as possible.”

Last year, Durbin, Duckworth and U.S. Representatives Bobby Rush (D-IL-01), Dan Lipinski (D-IL-03) and Danny Davis (D-IL-07) also announced $132 million in federal funding to the CREATE Program for the 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project (75th St. CIP). That investment will help separate several major freight and passenger rail lines that currently intersect and create significant delays, train idling and congestion in the Englewood, Auburn Gresham and West Chatham neighborhoods of Chicago.

The CREATE Program is a partnership that includes U.S. Department of Transportation, State of Illinois, Cook County, City of Chicago, Metra, Amtrak and the nation’s freight railroads. It is designed to eliminate freight rail and motor vehicle bottlenecks, boost the economy of northeastern Illinois and improve the overall safety and environment of the region.

A related story, $19M federal grant slated to improve rail crossings, is in the Tribune/Daily Southtown.

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