The 75th St. CIP will deliver transportation, economic and environmental benefits in the Chicago neighborhoods of Ashburn, Englewood, Auburn Gresham and West Chatham in addition to the project's regional and national benefits.
Construction of the 75th St. CIP's rail and road improvement projects will provide numerous community benefits which are summarized below.
Transportation & Environmental
The 75th St. CIP will deliver transportation benefits through construction of a road-rail grade separation project, improve viaducts that are a safety and mobility concern in the community and improve local mobility to further enhance safety and accessibility. By removing conflicts between freight and passenger trains and eliminating the grade crossing at 71st Street near Bell Avenue, the 75th St. CIP will:
- Increase passenger train reliability and eliminate delay to passengers
- Increase freight train reliability, speed and capacity
- Eliminate congestion, delays and idling for motorists
- Improve air quality
The 75th St. CIP provides economic benefits by creating and promoting contracting opportunities for certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs), implementing job training programs and supporting education programs within project area community colleges and high schools. All interested businesses, including DBEs, will be informed of design and construction contracting opportunities for the 75th St. CIP. Events to encourage networking and project education for interested DBEs took place in 2019 and 2021 and in 2023 there was a West Side event in April and a South Side event in November. Goals for DBE participation on each publicly bid design and construction package will be set in accordance with federal and state requirements.
If you are interested in receiving notifications about upcoming project contracting opportunities, please visit the CREATE Program's Bids and Requests for Proposals (Opens in a new window) webpage to sign up for notices.
Beginning in 2019, the CREATE Program partners committed to implementing education programs in south side Chicago neighborhoods near the 75th St. CIP, which include Ashburn, Auburn Gresham, Englewood and West Chatham. These programs encourage elementary and high school students interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) to further their knowledge of the transportation, engineering and technical fields. To date, over $600,000 in grants has been committed to local educational institutions for STEM/STEAM programs including science labs, on-site visits with engineers and transportation professionals, internships, after-school clubs, new equipment, at-home science kits, online activities, and field trips.
Viaducts and Community Mobility Improvements
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) is the lead partner for the 75th St. CIP's viaduct and Community Mobility Improvements (CMIs). Viaduct improvements include reconstructing streets and sidewalks under existing structures, replacing viaduct lighting and making other safety and pedestrian-focused improvements. Thirty-six viaducts were identified for improvement during the initial planning and design phase of the 75th St. CIP. Four viaduct improvement projects are being designed and constructed by CDOT in association with the Forest Hill Flyover (P3) and 71st St. Grade Separation (GS19) projects. They are located at 2200 W. Marquette St., 2150 W. 68th St., 2150 W. 69th St.; and 2200 W. 79th St. The remaining viaducts identified will be constructed in association with the Rock Island Connection (P2) and Belt Junction and 80th St. Junction Replacements (EW2) projects when construction funding for those projects is secured.
CMIs focus on enhancing the safety, accessibility, quality of life and visual appeal of the community, as well as the transit-riding experience. These projects include neighborhood street repaving, curb and sidewalk repair, street tree planting, bus stop improvements and improving the accessibility of sidewalk ramps for people with disabilities. During 2022, construction was completed for ninety-one CMIs associated with the Forest Hill Flyover (P3) and 71st St. Grade Separation (GS19) projects, and three more will be completed in 2023. Input from community representatives has helped CDOT to identify future CMIs that will be prioritized for construction in association with the Rock Island Connection (P2) and Belt Junction and 80th St. Junction Replacements (EW2) projects.