The Illinois Department of Transportation recently applied for $200 million in federal grants meant to ease railroad-related traffic issues as part of the CREATE program.
The move is a step in the right direction as far as area motorists are concerned, including those affected by Belt Railway traffic at two area crossings. If IDOT gets the funds requested, projects will commence in Chicago at Archer Avenue near 51st Street and Columbus and Maplewood avenues. A third project would occur at 95th Street near Eggleston Avenue, the site of a Union Pacific crossing. Local lawmakers are optimistic at least some of the funding will come through, resulting in more than one of the planned projects coming to fruition.
If released, the funds would only pick up part of the tab for the projects. More than a $100 million would have to be procured locally.