Added Metra track will help Elgin bottleneck
U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Metra officials attended the announcement Friday of the start of a project to replace an 1881 train bridge over the Fox River in Elgin.
The bridge, which crosses the river near Route 20, is the only single-track portion of Metra's Milwaukee West Line and a frequent cause of delays. A new double-track bridge will be built to eliminate the bottleneck while upgrading technology. The bridge serves about 50 commuter trains and up to eight freight trains per day.
"Going to a two-track bridge will be an economic boon to the local community," Duckworth said.
Duckworth, then a U.S. representative, and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin helped obtain in 2015 a $14 million grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation to finance the project, which was expected to start sometime this year.
The total cost of the project is $34 million, including $6 million from Canadian Pacific Railroad and $14 million in local funding through Metra, officials said.