CREATE: Opportunities for Chicago-area contractors and suppliers for rail transportation projects


Significant rail transportation projects in Chicagoland will soon create millions of dollars in opportunities for Chicago contractors, subtrades and suppliers, according to documentation provided by the public-private Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Program (CREATE).

Most recently, CREATE says that the US Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded $132 million in June to CREATE’s largest project — the $474 million, 75th Street Corridor improvement Project (CIP), which will start construction next year, CREATE says.

(CREATE participants include the US DOT, the State of Illinois, the City of Chicago, Metra, Amtrak and the nation’s freight railroads.  Since 2003, the partnership has called for $4.4 billion in infrastructure investments, with what it says is an estimated $31.5 billion in economic benefits.)

Schematic for the 7th St. Corridor Improvement Project (CIP) – from CREATE

The 7th Street Corridor in fact includes five separate projects, CREATE says. The B9 – Argo Connection is scheduled to begin next year. “The project will build additional track and signals allowing for increased train speeds,” CREATE says in a fact sheet. “The design and construction of the other four projects will follow.”

A second major project, the $65 million Columbus Avenue Grade Separation (of which $53.8 million is for construction) is designed to “eliminate a grade crossing a Columbus Avenue and Maplewood Avenue in Ashburn,” CREATE says, This is funded by $49 million of federal funds through the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) Competitive Freight Grant, and $16 million from the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago.

The CREATE website’s Bids/RFPs page doesn’t list any current bidding opportunities, but provides information about DBE/MBE/WBE Registered Contractor Information and invites contractors and suppliers to register to receive e-mail notifications of bid advertisements.


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