Transportation Capital Improvements in Northeastern Illinois
This page is for archival purposes only. See the GO TO 2040 pages for the region's current transportation plan.
Chicago/Illinois Department of Transportation I-190 Improvements
A collector/distributor system, access and safety improvements, better operations, and additional capacity are planned for I-190 and Mannheim Road in the O'Hare area. The larger project is unfunded, but several interim projects involving rehabilitation and modest improvements have been underway for several years, including the widening of several bridge abutments. I-190 bridge rehabilitation over Bessie Coleman Drive began in April, 2008 and is expected to be completed by May, 2008.
Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Brown Line Improvements
A multi-year construction project is now underway to increase Brown Line capacity. 8-car trains began serving the Brown Line on March 30, 2008.
Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) I-55 Improvements
An interim project to add capacity and resurface I-55 from Naperville Road to I-80 is underway. Preliminary work has been ongoing since 2006. Major construction began in March, 2008, with completion scheduled for the same year.
Illinois Tollway I-88 (Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway) Improvements
Illinois Tollway congestion relief projects are underway to add lanes and reconstruct pavement on I-88. Project completion is scheduled for the end of 2009. For more information, see the Illinois Tollway's I-88 web page.
Illinois Tollway I-94/I-294/I-80 (Tri-State Tollway) Improvements
Additional Illinois Tollway congestion relief projects are underway on the Tri-State Tollway. The projects will add lanes south of 95th Street by the end of 2009 and north of Balmoral Avenue by the end of 2010, resulting in a minimum four-lane cross-section in each direction from the Bishop Ford Freeway to near the Wisconsin state line. See the Illinois Tollway's Tri-State web page for more information.
CREATE (Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency) Program
A three-year program of projects to improve freight efficiency and reduce the impacts of rail freight activity on passenger rail services and on metropolitan communities has been initiated. See the CREATE Projects page for more information. The projects are being financed as part of a larger public-private partnership that includes funds from railroads, the City of Chicago, the State of Illinois, and the U.S. government. Additional funds are necessary to complete the project.
Other Projects Now Under Construction
CTA Slow Zone Elimination Project
The CTA's Slow Zone Elimination Project has made substantial progress fast-tracking repairs and eliminating slow zones on the Blue and Red Lines. Substantial travel time savings are expected when the projects are completed. For example, Blue Line travel times between O'Hare and Downtown are expected to fall from more than 60 minutes to below 45 minutes. More information about the slow zone elimination project is available from the CTA.
IDOT I-94 (Edens Expressway) Resurfacing
The pavement life of the Edens Expressway will be extended through Phase 2 resurfacing and other improvements beginning April 4, 2008. The project will push back the time required for a major reconstruction on the Edens Expressway by several years. Six bridges are also scheduled for rehabilitation. The project will be complete during summer, 2008. More information is available from IDOT.
IDOT Additional Construction Updates
Additional information about current construction activity is available the IDOT Construction Updates web link.
O'Hare Modernization Program
The O'Hare Modernization Program has received approval and is under construction. The Program is expected to increase aviation capacity and improve air travel reliability by building, expanding, and reconfiguring runways and facilitating terminal expansion, including a new western terminal. The Program also facilitates additional landside access and capacity included in the 2030 Regional Transportation Plan. Aviation airside capacity and terminal capacity were not specifically addressed in the 2030 Regional Transportation Plan, but aviation capacity is critical for our region to compete as a global center. See the O'Hare Modernization Program website for more information.
Shared Path 2030 Recommendations: Substantially Completed
CTA Circle Line Phase I/Blue Line Cermak Branch Reconstruction/Pink Line Renew the Blue
Construction on the CTA 54/Cermak branch was substantially completed in 2005. The CTA Pink Line was placed in service in 2006. Pink Line service on the former Douglas Line and Paulina Connector has been well-received and successful. However, continued, limited Blue Line service failed to attract riders, so the 54/Cermak Blue Line Branch service will be eliminated in a six-month service experiment beginning April, 2008. See CTA President Huberman's Report to the Chicago Transit Board.
IDOT I-90/94 (Dan Ryan Expressway) Improvements
IDOT I-80/94 (Kingery Expressway) Improvements
Illinois Tollway I-355 (Veterans Memorial Tollway) Extension
A new highway connecting I-55 to I-80 in Will County opened in November, 2007. See the Illinois Tollway's I-355 web page for more information.
Metra Union Pacific West Line Extension to Elburn
The Elburn extension opened in January, 2006. The extension reduced dead-heading passenger trains and eased a freight bottleneck. See the Metra January press release.
Metra Southwest Service Improvements and Manhattan Extension.
The Southwest Service was extended to Manhattan with limited service initiated in January. 2006. Additional service was also provided along the pre-existing line, with better reliability facilitated by additional tracks along the line. See the Metra January press release.
Metra North Central Service Improvements
Additional trains began operations and new stations opened in January, 2006. See the Metra January press release. In late 2006, Metra implemented additional service adjustments, with more express service. The service now includes 22 train runs per day, up from 10 prior to the improvements.
Shared Path 2030 Recommendations Under Study
CTA Circle Line
The CTA is in the midst of analyses of the proposed Circle Line. The screening level 2 analyses were presented in 2006.
CTA Express Airport Train Service
A business plan for the proposed Express Airport Train Service was released in 2006.
CTA Red Line Extension
The CTA is in the midst of analyses of the proposed Red Line Extension. The screening level 1 analyses were presented in 2007.
CTA Yellow Line Enhancements and Extension
CTA Blue Line West Extension
The proposed extension of the Blue Line, west from Forest Park, is being studied as part of the Cook-DuPage Corridor Study.
IDOT Elgin-O'Hare and O'Hare Bypass Study
IDOT has commenced additional study of the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway and O'Hare Bypass. Information about this study is available at http://www.elginohare-westbypass.org.
IDOT I-55 Wilmington Study
IDOT has commenced a study of I-55 from New River Road to Coal City Road in the Wilminton area. http://i-55wilmingtonstudy.com/index.aspx
IDOT I-290 (Eisenhower Expressway) Improvements
A project web site is being maintained for this project's preliminary engineering study. In addition, this project is being coordinated with the the Cook-DuPage Corridor Study. In addition, Oak Park is studying a Cap of the Eisenhower, and has prepared a series of reports.
IDOT Illiana Corridor and I-57/IL 394 Connector
A submittal was prepared jointly by InDOT, IDOT, NIRPC, and CMAP for funding the Illiana Expressway and Freight Corridor as a Corridor of National Significance. We deeply regret that USDOT decided not to fund this south suburban project.
IDOT/ISTHA Lake County Transportation Improvement Program (Central Lake County Corridor)
A study of transportation alternatives in Lake County was completed in 2001. Alternatives evaluated included the limited access IL 53 Extension; an alternative improvement to IL 83, U.S 45 , and US 12, with an arterial bypass of Mundelein; and a baseline improvement alternative. A Draft Environmental Impact Statement was prepared. http://www.lakecountytip.com/
IDOT Prairie Parkway Project
The Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Prairie Parkway has been released. Federal action is expected in Spring, 2008. In addition, an identified corridor has been protected for this project from I-88 to I-80. Other information about this study is available at http://www.prairie-parkway.com/.
Lake County Route 120 Corridor (Central Lake County Corridor)
Lake County and ten communities are collaborating through a corridor planning council to address the Route 120 Corridor, an east-west route through the core of Lake County. The primary goals of the Corridor Planning Council are to complete a feasibility study that pave the way for a federally-eligible Phase-1 engineering study, build consensus for a recommended alternative, and secure agreement on land use in the corridor. The Council's web site is at http://www.120now.com/
Lake County Year 2020 Transportation Priority Plan (Central Lake County Corridor)
Lake County developed transportation improvement priorities considering several transportation futures identified in the Lake County Transportation Improvement Program. The study is posted at http://www.co.lake.il.us/dot/2020.asp
Metra Southeast Service Improvements
Metra has undertaken a study of the proposed Southeast Service. See http://metraconnects.metrarail.com/ses.php.
Metra STAR Line
Metra has also undertaken a study of the proposed STAR Line. See http://metraconnects.metrarail.com/star.php
Metra Union Pacific Northwest
Metra Union Pacific West Improvements
Metra Electric District Improvements
Several improvements have been proposed for the Electric District. Some community members have proposed an urban rail operation for the Electric District's branch lines and close-in stations, referred to as the Gray Line. In addition, a Phase-2 feasibility study of potential transit improvements, including rail service south of University Park, has been completed by Kankakee County. The study focused on the feasibility of a new commuter rail connection between Kankakee County and the University Park Metra station on new rail tracks within current Canadian National right-of-way. Interim express bus service from Kankakee County to University Park has been implemented by River Valley Metro.
Other Major Studies Underway
South Suburban Airport
On March 7, 2008, IDOT submitted its Preferred Inaugural Airport Configuration to the Federal Aviation Administration for their review. Preliminary Airport Layout Plans and a report on the work leading up to the IDOT submittal are available. Meanwhile, land acquisition for the airport is continuing.