Gov. Pritzker, Mayor Lightfoot attend Forest Hill Flyover groundbreaking

Craig Wall Image
Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Forest Hill Flyover groundbreaking event held on South Side
Officials broke ground Tuesday on a $380 million dollar project that will create the Forest Hill Flyover on Chicago's South Side.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago is one of the busiest rail hubs in the nation, and the corridor near 75th and Western is considered one of the worst chokepoints in the system.

Ninety freight trains and 30 Metra trains pass through that area each day at grade often creating significant delays.

State and local officials spoke Tuesday morning at the Forest Hill Flyover groundbreaking.

Officials broke ground Tuesday on a $380 million dollar project that will create the Forest Hill Flyover as part of the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency, or CREATE, projects.

"The work that we kick off today represents the largest portion of the largest project within CREATE today and it's exciting news for consumers, for commuters, for logistics operators," Gov. JB Pritzker said.

Metra commuters are among those who will benefit.

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"This is a decongestion of the tightest rail knot in the entire system here," Metra CEO Jim Derwinski said. "So we'll see benefits beyond just this area, directly for our Southwest Service trains, this will be reduced congestion, which means better reliability."

Those living or commuting through the Chicago Lawn and West Englewood neighborhoods will also see relief.

Another important aspect of the project will help the community by creating a second flyover at 71st Street, where trains often come through and create problems. Traffic backups a daily driver dilemma.

"They come through quite a bit, you know, and it can be a delay of up to 30 minutes, especially if the train is stopped and I've sat there for 30 minutes," 17th Ward Ald. David Moore said.

The project will eliminate an estimated 8,500 hours of passenger delays every year.

The public-private partnership projects with be done in two phases, with work on track to be completed in about four years.