Added Metra track will help Elgin bottleneck

  • Sen. Tammy Duckworth greets Metra Chairman Norman Carlson at a news conference Friday at the National Street Station in Elgin. Metra officials announced their intention to break ground on the replacement of an 1881 train bridge over the Fox River. Duckworth, a Hoffman Estates Democrat, helped secure the funds for the project.

      Sen. Tammy Duckworth greets Metra Chairman Norman Carlson at a news conference Friday at the National Street Station in Elgin. Metra officials announced their intention to break ground on the replacement of an 1881 train bridge over the Fox River. Duckworth, a Hoffman Estates Democrat, helped secure the funds for the project. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Metra officials, along with Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Elgin Mayor David Kaptain, have their picture taken at a Friday news conference at the National Street Station in Elgin.

      Metra officials, along with Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Elgin Mayor David Kaptain, have their picture taken at a Friday news conference at the National Street Station in Elgin. John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 11/17/2017 3:50 PM

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.

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