New railway bridge in Elgin inaugurated by Duckworth, other officials

  • U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth helps celebrate the completion of the Metra Fox River Bridge in Elgin.

      U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth helps celebrate the completion of the Metra Fox River Bridge in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Jim Derwinski, CEO and executive director of Metra, greets U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth as she exits a Metra train at National Street Station in Elgin.

      Jim Derwinski, CEO and executive director of Metra, greets U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth as she exits a Metra train at National Street Station in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth said "investing in our state's infrastructure is one of the most important things we can do to move Illinois forward."

      U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth said "investing in our state's infrastructure is one of the most important things we can do to move Illinois forward." Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Norm Carlson, chairman of Metra's board of directors, left, at podium, and U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, next to him, celebrated Thursday the completion of Metra's new Fox River Bridge in Elgin.

      Norm Carlson, chairman of Metra's board of directors, left, at podium, and U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, next to him, celebrated Thursday the completion of Metra's new Fox River Bridge in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 10/3/2019 5:14 PM

A new 547-foot railway bridge that replaced an 1880s-era structure over the Fox River in Elgin was officially inaugurated Thursday.

The completion of the bridge, which crosses the river south of Route 20 and started bearing passenger loads last month, was celebrated by U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Metra officials and local officials. The bridge carries Metra's Milwaukee West Line and freight trains.

 

"Investing in our state's infrastructure is one of the most important things we can do to move Illinois forward," Duckworth, a Hoffman Estates Democrat, said in a statement. The new bridge "will improve safety and relieve rail congestion."

This is the first half of a $34 million project that will include a second 547-foot bridge expected to open in fall 2020. That will give trains double tracks over the Fox River in Elgin and reduce delays for 21,000 daily Metra passengers.

Duckworth led a congressional coalition in support for the project, which earned $14 million in grant money from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The rest was $6 million from Canadian Pacific Railroad and $14 million in local funding through Metra.

"Completing this bridge will improve the reliability, performance and operational flexibility of the Milwaukee District West Line, and also improve our ability to expand service in the future to meet the needs of both passenger and freight service," Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski said.

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