Metra officials joined U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth and Elgin Mayor David Kaptain at a groundbreaking to replace a 136-year-old bridge over the Fox River along the Milwaukee District West Line in Elgin, Ill.
Sen. Dick Durbin’s and Duckworth’s efforts helped Metra secure a $14 million federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant for the $34 million project. Metra and Canadian Pacific Railway will share the remaining cost, with $6 million from CP and $14 million from Metra.
In September, the Metra Board awarded a $21.6 million contract to Elburn-based Illinois Constructors Corp. to build the new bridge. The company will replace the existing single-track bridge with a double-track bridge built to modern standards. The contract covers the bridge structure. Metra will build and install the track and signal elements.
The bridge, located about 35 miles from downtown Chicago, carries 54 Metra trains and up to eight CP freight trains each weekday. The bridge was originally constructed in 1881. Although the structure has been regularly maintained, many components are significantly deteriorated and can no longer be economically repaired.