Durbin, Garcia Visit Franklin Park to Announce $8 Million for Rail Safety

FRANKLIN PARK – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Jesús G. "Chuy" García (D-IL-4) joined Village of Franklin Park Mayor Barrett Pedersen today to announce $8 million in funding through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant Program to complete project development and final design for a grade separation of Canadian Pacific Railway and Kansas City Southern tracks through the Village while closing one or more at-grade crossings. This project aims to provide a safer crossing for roadway users and improve supply chain fluidity on both the road and rail network, while also reducing negative impacts of freight movement on nearby communities.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which Durbin and García supported, created the Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant Program, which provides funding for highway-rail or pathway-rail grade crossing improvement projects that focus on improving the safety and mobility of people and goods.

“Today’s announcement is a testament to the power of collaboration between federal and local governments in enhancing our communities,” said Durbin. “The grade separation project is a long-awaited solution to alleviate delays and boost safety at our railroad crossings. By introducing an underpass for both cars and pedestrians, we ensure uninterrupted movement, benefitting all residents and travelers passing through Franklin Park.”

“Residents of Franklin Park live daily with the reality of some of the country’s largest freight lines running right through their backyard, and grade crossings are a big part of that reality. Grade crossings slow rail service, make travel more dangerous, make traffic worse, and pollute places like Franklin Park,” said García. “Federal investments like this to reduce the number of grade crossings and make remaining ones safer are fundamental to improving quality of life and building more connected communities.”

“This funding will allow us to undertake a critically important railway safety project in Franklin Park,” said Mayor Pedersen. “Most importantly, this project will help provide safer crossings for roadway users including pedestrians and students, while reducing negative impacts of blocked crossings on our community. These improvements will also greatly aid response time for police, fire, and emergency medical vehicles, increasing the speed of life saving assistance. I would like to thank U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, and U.S. Representative Jesús G. “Chuy” García for their support in securing this funding for our community.  Business, legislative, and community leaders came together and were critical in writing letters and demonstrating public support for this grant. Thank you to all who helped our region.”

Duckworth, who was not in attendance, also supported the creation of the Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant Program through the IIJA.

“Thousands of trains move through the densely populated Chicago region every day, making rail safety critically important to our state,” Duckworth said. “Improvements to grade separations and crossings help decrease noise, reduce emergency response time and improve commuter rail operations, safety and the environment of our communities. I’m pleased to see the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law at work right here in Illinois, and I’ll keep working to make sure Illinois has the support it needs to make these necessary infrastructure improvements.”