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Quigley’s “Mike on the Move” Tour Highlights Rail Congestion Mitigation

Oct 26, 2015
Press Release
Tours Northwest side CREATE project with FRA Administrator Feinberg

CHICAGO — Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD), took his “Mike on the Move” transportation initiative to Bensenville, Illinois with Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Acting Administrator Sarah Feinberg to tour a rail congestion mitigation project. The project is part of the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program.

“Chicago remains the busiest rail hub in the United States, with nearly 1,300 trains passing through the region every day. But outdated infrastructure is slowing our economic growth,” said Rep. Quigley. “Passenger and freight trains often share railroad tracks in heavily trafficked areas, increasing congestion on major thoroughfares like Irving Park Road, which we visited today. This congestion hurts our region’s flow of commerce and commuters. I’m thankful for partnerships like CREATE and strong leaders like FRA Acting Administrator Feinberg who are working to alleviate congestion in the Fifth District and increase the flow of goods and passengers around the country.”

Rep. Quigley toured CREATE project GS16, the Irving Park Road & Canadian Pacific Railroad (CPRR) Grade Separation project. The grade separation will significantly increase safety and reduce congestion at the intersection in Bensenville, IL. The project includes pavement reconstruction and widening, improved intersection geometry, additional auxiliary lanes, drainage system improvements, and signal modernization. Every day, nearly 6,400 vehicles are delayed at this location, yielding 1,500 daily motorist hours of delay that would be alleviated by this project. This separation will also significantly improve railroad operations by enabling the CPRR to run trains unimpeded at all times. Currently, the CPRR averages 25 trains per day in this area.

Also attending today’s “Mike on the Move” were Sarah Feinberg, FRA Acting Administrator; Steve Illich, FRA Regional Administrator; Matthew Lehner, FRA Office of Public Affairs; Jeff Sriver, CDOT Director of Transportation Planning and Programming; Beth McCluskey, Director of Public and Intermodal Transportation, IDOT; and Sam Tuck, Bureau Chief CREATE and Freight Rail, IDOT.

“Projects like the Irving Park Road grade separation decrease congestion, increase safety and reliability and create high-paying jobs. I look forward to working with Rep. Quigley, the Illinois delegation, IDOT and the City of Chicago to take more projects in the CREATE program from the drawing board to the construction site,” said FRA Acting Administrator Sarah Feinberg.

 Rep. Quigley (right) views rail congestion site in Bensenville, Illinois with Beth McCluskey, Director of Public and Intermodal Transportation at IDOT (left), and Sam Tuck, Bureau Chief CREATE and Freight Rail at IDOT (center).

The Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program is investing billions in critically needed capital improvements to increase the efficiency of the region's rail infrastructure. CREATE is reducing train and auto delays throughout the Chicago area by focusing rail traffic on four rail corridors that will be improved to handle passenger and freight traffic more efficiently. CREATE is the first program on which so many competing railroads have come together as partners to increase the efficiency of an urban rail network.

Rep. Quigley’s “Mike on the Move” initiative emphasizes how the federal government can support transportation and infrastructure investments. Previous “Mike on the Move” events highlighted CTA Red and Purple Line renovation sites, the 606 bike and pedestrian trail during construction and shortly after it opened, Chicago’s Metra system’s century old switching tower and Amerail passenger car rehabilitation project, innovative bike and pedestrian trails around the city, large road construction projects, and Chicago’s notorious rail congestion.

As Illinois’ only member on the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Quigley has pushed for a long-term surface transportation bill and prioritized Chicago-area infrastructure investments as a member of the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD). He has helped secure $35 million in Core Capacity grants to benefit CTA and over $100 million for projects to ease flooding in Cook County. Most recently he fought for increased funding for the TIGER grant program to benefit both highways and pedestrian projects.