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Governor Quinn Announces $25.5 Million for Major Road - Railroad Separation Project in Aurora

Press Release - Friday, July 11, 2014

AURORA – Governor Pat Quinn today announced capital investments of more than $25.5 million for a major road – railroad separation project in Aurora. The project will improve traffic flow and safety at the U.S. Route 34 and Canadian National (CN) Railway crossing and create 370 jobs. Funded by his Illinois Jobs Now! construction program, the project is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois’ economy forward.

“Soon motorists on Ogden Avenue won’t have to wait for passing trains at this heavily traveled crossing,” Governor Quinn said. “This grade separation project will make it easier and safer to travel in Aurora and create jobs for our hardworking residents to help drive Illinois’ economy forward.”

“The railroad separation structure will enhance the safety of the tens-of-thousands of motorists who travel this section of Route 34 on a daily basis,” Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner said. “It will likewise save lives through enhanced response times by our police officers, firefighters and paramedics who will no longer be delayed by train traffic. This project has been over five years in the making and I want to thank Governor Quinn for recognizing its importance to the citizens of Aurora and the entire region.”

A bridge carrying U.S. Route 34 (Ogden Avenue) will be built over the CN tracks. The project will include retaining walls, new pavement, noise abatement and traffic signals. Herlihy Mid-Continent Company of Romeoville was the lowest of seven bidders for the job with a quote of $25,523,407. Construction will begin this summer and will be managed by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).

The average daily traffic volume along U.S. Route 34 at the CN crossing is 31,200 vehicles per day with an average of 42 trains per day. Based on an Environmental Impact Statement, this crossing experiences a total vehicle delay of nearly 73 hours per day. The project will eliminate those delays, and also reduce the potential for train, vehicle and bicycle accidents by eliminating the at-grade crossing. The work will also enhance emergency vehicle response times in Aurora and the surrounding communities.

“This grade separation project is a win-win. It will improve travel times and safety for Aurora commuters as well as create local job opportunities,” State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) said.

"This grade separation project is important to the major economic corridor in the district,” State Representative Stephanie Kifowit (D-Oswego) said. “While during construction travel will be difficult, after completion this project will help traffic flow, enhance more economic opportunities for businesses and provide a safe crossing for emergency vehicles and pedestrians."

The Aurora project is part of Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program, which will support more than 439,000 jobs over six years. Illinois Jobs Now! is the largest construction program in Illinois history, and is one of the largest construction programs in the nation.

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