Posted on February 01, 2012 10:23 AM
CREATE Year in Review newsletter
Metropolitan Chicago’s freight system links the region’s industries and consumers to global markets. Highways, railroads, waterways, and airports all provide important connections to the world. Yet each of these modes of transport is intertwined with the livability of the region. Therefore, planning for an efficient, regional, multimodal freight system is a key priority of GO TO 2040.
GO TO 2040 strongly supports increased investment in the region’s freight system to improve the economic competitiveness of industry in metropolitan Chicago, as well as to reduce the impact of freight operations on local communities, addressing travel delay, pollution, and safety. One of the plan’s primary recommendations to do this is to fully implement the CREATE program. CREATE (Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program) is a public-private partnership of the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT), the State of Illinois, the City of Chicago, Metra, Amtrak, and the nation’s freight railroads. The program has identified four corridors of related improvements that will significantly reduce the delays for rail shipments in the Chicago region. In addition, a number of highway-rail grade separations are planned to reduce motorist delay and to improve rail safety and reliability.
The CREATE Program’s 2011 Year in Review newsletter is now available on-line. The newsletter highlights new modeling data, information on completed and on-going projects, public input received by partners of select projects, and other project updates. As of January 2012, among the 70 projects identifed by CREATE, 12 were complete, 14 were under construction, and 19 were in preliminary engineering. Due in part to the completed CREATE improvements, the Illinois Commerce Commission has estimated that motorist delays at railroad grade crossings -- a key GO TO 2040 indicator - have fallen from 10,982 hours per weekday in 2002 to 7,817 hours per weekday in 2011.
CMAP’s upcoming GO TO 2040: Moving Forward 2010-11 implementation report will also describe progress made by the CREATE Program over the last year, including three projects funded by a $100 million award through the U.S. DOT TIGER program, as well as the 130th and Torrence Highway-Rail Grade Separation and Englewood Flyover groundbreaking. Of 70 discrete CREATE projects identified, twelve were complete by August 2011, while thirteen were under construction, and 20 were in preliminary engineering.