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  #6541  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2010, 10:50 PM
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The Port of Gulfport Missisippi is also getting $20 mil to connect it by rail to Chicago, among other cities.
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  #6542  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2010, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
On the bright side, the CREATE grant was the second-largest one awarded.
^ The largest grant being the one that was awarded to States in the SE to improve their freight rail and intermodal capacity.

Would this be in direct competition with the Chicago freight hub? Perhaps JpIllinois would know..
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  #6543  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2010, 1:15 AM
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^^ Not really. The Crescent Corridor is speeding up trains from Gulf ports to East Coast cities, and trains from Mid-Atlantic ports to Sunbelt cities. These trains aren't currently going through Chicago anyway - much of that freight is probably going by truck at the moment down I-85 or I-20.

The Crescent Corridor will also directly improve passenger rail service on Amtrak's daily Crescent by adding sidings, upgrading track, and so forth.
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  #6544  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2010, 8:47 PM
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,7257132.story

chicagotribune.com
Stadium-goers to get benefit of stimulus funds
$100 million grant intended to unclog rail congestion
By Richard Wronski, Tribune reporter

February 18, 2010


The $100 million federal grant awarded to the Chicago region Wednesday to unclog rail congestion will benefit Jimmy Buffett Parrotheads and Chicago Fire soccer aficionados along with freight haulers, motorists and rail passengers.

That's because $20 million of that money will go toward building a rail/highway underpass on 71st Street, west of Harlem Avenue and across from Bridgeview's Toyota Park, a 28,000-seat sports and music venue.

The underpass is one of five Chicago-area rail projects receiving part of $1.5 billion in Obama administration stimulus money designed to spur the economy, develop infrastructure and create jobs.

The rail projects are lumped together under a rail congestion relief program known as the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency program, or CREATE, a partnership of railroads and transportation agencies.

With the strong support of state and federal officials, particularly CREATE's chief proponent, U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., the rail program beat out scores of other agencies for stimulus money.

The Illinois Tollway unsuccessfully sought $300 million to help build an interchange where Interstate Highway 57 and the Tri-State Tollway (Interstate Highway 294) intersect.

The tollway also lost out in its bid for $38 million to set up a Dial-511 traffic and travel information system. The tollway and Pace had partnered on a losing $200 million proposal for Tri-State express buses.

Observers said Wednesday that the CREATE program had the edge on the other applicants from the start.

"I am surprised that CREATE didn't get more," said Jim LaBelle, a transportation expert with the civic group Chicago Metropolis 2020 and a Metra director.

Peter Skosey of the Metropolitan Planning Council said the Illinois Department of Transportation, one of the CREATE partners, "put all its eggs in one basket" with the rail program. "IDOT tried to corral everybody around CREATE," Skosey said.

...
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  #6545  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
^ The largest grant being the one that was awarded to States in the SE to improve their freight rail and intermodal capacity.

Would this be in direct competition with the Chicago freight hub? Perhaps JpIllinois would know..
Freight has to go somewhere...Why not south? I did note with interest that Kansas City was denied their request for intermodal assistance, and that yard would be direct competition to Chicago's East-West dominance.
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  #6546  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by jpIllInoIs View Post
Freight has to go somewhere...Why not south? I did note with interest that Kansas City was denied their request for intermodal assistance, and that yard would be direct competition to Chicago's East-West dominance.
Isn't Chicago's dominance due to the need to switch between eastern and western companies, since both BNSF and UP don't serve east of Chicago?
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  #6547  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 4:59 AM
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Isn't Chicago's dominance due to the need to switch between eastern and western companies, since both BNSF and UP don't serve east of Chicago?
And CSX does not serve west of Chicago, but NS does go all the way to Kansas City, thus making a connection with both UP and BNSF that can completely bypass Chicago. And KC has another play in that Kansas City Southern has a big network form KC into Mexico.

Of course Chicago is still the Emporer of rail with major terminals and yards for all the biggest players CN CP NS UP BNSF and CSX. We just need to not get complacent and take it for granted. Memphis, Birmingham and Kansas City are all making a play for intermodal expansion.
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  #6548  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2010, 5:51 PM
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Metra contracts design of CREATE’s Englewood flyover

Things are starting to move ahead! This is the same group that did the 220mph HSR study.

Metra contracts TranSystems to design CREATE’s Englewood flyover

Metra’s board recently approved a final design contract for the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) program’s Englewood flyover project, according to the program’s partners.

TranSystems Corp. obtained a $5.65 million contract to design the flyover, which will carry Metra’s north-south Rock Island line over the an east-west Norfolk Southern Railway/Amtrak line. To be completed in 2012, the project is designed to eliminate conflicts between 68 Metra trains and 60 freight and Amtrak trains that intersect daily at an existing grade crossing.

The project will be funded with a portion of a $133 million federal grant CREATE partners received in January through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The flyover must be built and in operation before two adjacent CREATE projects — 75th Street corridor improvements and the Grand Crossing — can be completed, according to a prepared statement.

CREATE partners include Amtrak, the Association of American Railroads, Belt Railway Co. of Chicago, BNSF Railway Co., CSX Transportation, CN, Canadian Pacific, Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Co., Norfolk Southern Railway, Union Pacific Railroad, and the Illinois and Chicago Departments of Transportation.

Funded through a public-private partnership, CREATE calls for building roadway underpasses or overpasses to separate vehicle/pedestrian and rail traffic; constructing rail overpasses to separate freight- and passenger-rail tracks; and upgrading track, switches, signal systems and other rail infrastructure.

http://www.progressiverailroading.co...e.asp?id=22622
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  #6549  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2010, 9:59 PM
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Union Station is soliciting plans for a redevelopment of the Great Hall. Not sure how I feel about that. It clearly could be utilized better, but I dont see how anything regarding that station will change until they address the 800 lb gorilla in the room, which is the smoke filled, overcrowded, mazelike, underground hallways and crumbling platforms which comprise 90% of the the actual operational building.
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  #6550  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2010, 12:09 AM
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^^ agreed

I mentioned in the MWRRI thread that Amtrak has set aside $1.5 million for preliminary design and EIS work on the Grand Crossing project.
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  #6551  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2010, 12:17 AM
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New CDOT 2010 Projects

LaSalle/Congress Intermodal Center




Morgan/Lake


New Halsted St Bridge, North Branch Canal


Navy Pier Flyover

Chicago Journal

35th Street Pedestrian Bridge

UChicago Burnham Plan Centennial

Apparently CDOT also wants to begin construction on a big grade-separation project at 130th and Torrence. This is all in addition to the massive projects on Wacker and Congress. Also, the work at Grand/State will wrap up. All in all, this is shaping up to be a good year.
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  #6552  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2010, 1:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
New CDOT 2010 Projects
Apparently CDOT also wants to begin construction on a big grade-separation project at 130th and Torrence. This is all in addition to the massive projects on Wacker and Congress. Also, the work at Grand/State will wrap up. All in all, this is shaping up to be a good year.
I believe this is another CREATE project; GS15a.

Dont be surprised if this is funded in the yet to be announced Federal Highway Transportation bill.
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  #6553  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2010, 4:24 AM
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Morgan/Lake
Looks pretty good so far. Thanks for the updates.

http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/cta-...ion-rehab.html

CTA to tap $3 million in TIF funds for Wilson station rehab
Kevin O'Neil


The CTA will use up to $3 million in tax increment financing to rehabilitate the Red Line's Wilson station -- long considered one of the worst stations.
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  #6554  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2010, 3:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
New CDOT 2010 Projects

LaSalle/Congress Intermodal Center


^ So the parking lot remains? What exactly are they lining the street edge with? Are those supposed to be bus shelters in continuum covered with advertising? Seriously, all I'm seeing here is a staircase, some bus shelters, a widened sidewalk, and a few trees. A bit of a disappointment..
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  #6555  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2010, 5:01 PM
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CTA bus union leader: Monday could bring strike vote
But L workers union says he doesn't plan to follow suit


The leader of the union representing CTA bus drivers says there could be a strike vote Monday, in the wake of CTA service and staff cuts.

“It’s a very good possibility,” said Darrell Jefferson, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 241. “It’s up to the members whether the vote takes place.”


http://www.suntimes.com/news/transpo...022310.article

great!!
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  #6556  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2010, 5:43 PM
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^ So the parking lot remains? What exactly are they lining the street edge with? Are those supposed to be bus shelters in continuum covered with advertising? Seriously, all I'm seeing here is a staircase, some bus shelters, a widened sidewalk, and a few trees. A bit of a disappointment..
That's a good thing. I thought the lot was going to disappear as well, but this preserves a prime development site for the future, and offers the opportunity for a developer to perhaps negotiate a FAR bonus in exchange for making future improvements to the transit center.
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  #6557  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2010, 5:48 PM
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CTA bus union leader: Monday could bring strike vote
But L workers union says he doesn't plan to follow suit


The leader of the union representing CTA bus drivers says there could be a strike vote Monday, in the wake of CTA service and staff cuts.

“It’s a very good possibility,” said Darrell Jefferson, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 241. “It’s up to the members whether the vote takes place.”


http://www.suntimes.com/news/transpo...022310.article

great!!
Would this be an illegal stop work action? If it is, fire these assholes if they act on the threat. Seriously, unemployment is over 10%, there is large labor pool who would be more then willing to drive a bus with good base pay and benefits, they may already have a CDL in hand. Can CTA even legally hire people in the event of a strike?

The union really needs some new leadership. The public is already pissed at them, and a strike would only work to worsen their public perception; perhaps to the point where the state legislator may take away their legal protections (at least I hope). The rail union sees this, and has refused to bring up the consideration of a strike because the "riding public has suffered enough".
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  #6558  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2010, 8:12 PM
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^ So the parking lot remains? What exactly are they lining the street edge with? Are those supposed to be bus shelters in continuum covered with advertising? Seriously, all I'm seeing here is a staircase, some bus shelters, a widened sidewalk, and a few trees. A bit of a disappointment..
This project is of nebulous origins, but I think the main goal is to provide an actual terminal and 'layover' point for the 22 and 36 bus routes (and/or possibly the 145 and 148), which have had their southern termini and routing awkwardly shuffled throughout the Printer's Row area for quite some time -- seems most businesses and residents nor the aldermen representing them like to have buses parked in front for any length of time, and further if there isn't enough space to stage buses, it gets that much harder to operate a remotely reliable and regular service in the congested PM Peak. Unless there's something I haven't heard, the "intermodal" connection is really more just seizing an opportunity to bundle such a connection with the street & sidewalk reconstruction, rather than in meeting a pressing demand for massive quantities of Rock Island<--> CTA bus transfer traffic. Of course, it also simply serves as another access point to/from LaSalle Street station, on the south side of forboding Congress "Parkway" no less, so there is a simple station accessibility benefit to residences and businesses in the area from that as well.

Last edited by VivaLFuego; Feb 24, 2010 at 8:28 PM.
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  #6559  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2010, 10:40 PM
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Has anyone ever seen these postcards showing early plans for the post office in between Union and NW?

Would've been beautiful. Amazing how much they thought it would look like Penn Station. I love the Chciago typo.


link

All grabbed from the wonderful Chicago History in Postcards website. Here's the railroad stations page.

And the original tower plan. Wow.


link

And what WAS built.


link


link
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  #6560  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2010, 10:41 PM
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^ So the parking lot remains? What exactly are they lining the street edge with? Are those supposed to be bus shelters in continuum covered with advertising? Seriously, all I'm seeing here is a staircase, some bus shelters, a widened sidewalk, and a few trees. A bit of a disappointment..
As a person who has walked past that lot some untold thousands of times, I can say that the addition of the sidewalk on the east side of the street alone justifies this project for me.

Nothing worse than competing with other pedestrians and vehicles for a tiny strip of gutter...
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