Durbin, Duckworth Announce Nearly $13 Million For Pullman Junction Rail Improvements

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today announced that Cook County has been awarded $12.9 million in federal funding for the CREATE (Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency) Program’s Pullman Junction project on Chicago’s South Side. Today’s investment, awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grant program, will support improvements to increase the efficiency of Cook County’s passenger and freight rail infrastructure.

“This important investment will not only improve rail speed and reliability in Cook County, it will help keep passengers and drivers safe,” said Durbin.  “Senator Duckworth and I are proud to support this improvement project, and will continue advocating for strong investments in Illinois’ transportation infrastructure.” 

“The congestion and delays caused by so many freight trains using the Pullman Junction each day aren’t just incredibly aggravating for Illinoisans, they can cause ripple effects that slow down freight traffic—and economic growth—far beyond the Chicagoland area,” said Duckworth.  “This critical funding will help relieve this bottleneck and help improve reliability and boost our economic development. Moving forward, I’ll keep working with Senator Durbin and other members of the Illinois congressional delegation to promote infrastructure improvements across Chicagoland and the state of Illinois in order to bring back as much federal investment as possible.”

Today’s funding will support the final design and construction to double track a section of Norfolk Southern mainline near Pullman Junction and upgrade signals and switches along the corridor near 95th Street between Woodlawn Avenue and Stony Island Avenue in Chicago. The project is one of four CREATE projects to improve east-west freight fluidity. 

The CREATE Program is a partnership that includes the City of Chicago, the State of Illinois, the U.S. Department of Transportation, Metra, Amtrak and the nation’s freight railroads that is designed to eliminate freight rail and motor vehicle bottlenecks, boost the economy of northeastern Illinois, and improve the overall safety and environment of the region.