LYNWOOD – Governor Pat Quinn today joined local and state officials to break ground on a $29.6 million major road/railroad separation project in the southern Cook County community of Lynwood. The project will improve traffic flow and safety at the U.S. Route 30 and Canadian National Railway crossing. Funded in part by the Illinois Jobs Now! construction program, the project is part of Governor Quinn’s commitment to creating jobs and driving Illinois’ economy forward.
“Everybody wins when workers and goods can move quickly and easily between different parts of our state,” Governor Quinn said. “Soon motorists on the Lincoln Highway won’t have to wait for passing trains at this heavily traveled junction of road and railroad. This grade separation project will make it easier and safer to travel in Lynwood, and it will create jobs for the region and state.”
“It won’t be long before automobile and train traffic flows more smoothly and safely through our community,” Lynwood Mayor Eugene Williams said. “I want to thank Governor Quinn and the Canadian National Railroad for making this project a priority, and for putting area men and women to work on its construction.”
The Canadian National Railroad is paying $23.2 million of the project cost, with the state of Illinois providing an investment of $6.4 million. The main construction contract, for a bridge to carry U.S. Route 30 (Lincoln Highway) over the Canadian National/Wisconsin Central Railroad tracks, was awarded in June. James McHugh Construction Co. of Chicago was the lowest of six bidders for the job with a quote of $17,991,194. Other project costs include engineering, land acquisition and utility adjustments. Construction will be managed by the Illinois Department of Transportation.
The average daily traffic volume along U.S. 30 at the CN Railroad crossing is 29,400 vehicles per day, with an average of 42 trains per day. Based on an Environmental Impact Statement, this crossing experiences a total vehicle delay of nearly 50 hours per day. The project will eliminate those delays, and also reduce the potential for train, vehicle and bicycle accidents by eliminating the at-grade crossing. The work will also improve emergency vehicle response times in the area.
“Lynwood residents and those who use its roads have long been waiting for a solution to an inefficient, time-consuming railway crossing,” State Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) said. “With this project’s completion, we will realize the potential of time lost to unnecessary traffic – time that could be spent with loved ones after a hard day’s work.”
“Governor Quinn understands that investments in roads and modes of transportation overall are essential and will pay dividends to the residents Illinois for years,” State Representative Marcus C. Evans Jr. (D-Chicago) said. “I'm proud to have supported this critical improvement and to have the opportunity to see it go from idea, to action, and now completion."
The Lynwood project is part of Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program, which will support more than 439,000 jobs over six years. Illinois Jobs Now! is the largest construction program in Illinois history, and is one of the largest construction programs in the nation.