OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill – State Rep. Al Riley, Chair of the House Mass Transit Committee, recently congratulated Metra on its completion and dedication of the Englewood Flyover project.
“The Englewood Flyover will ease rail congestion throughout the Chicagoland region and passenger rail service for Metra and Amtrak will benefit from this great investment,” Riley said.
“After years of collaboration between the state of Illinois, the U.S. Department of Transportation, City of Chicago, Metra, Amtrak, and the nation’s freight railroads, the opening of the Englewood Flyover demonstrates the success that can be accomplished when interested parties form partnerships.”
However, for future Metra construction projects, Riley hopes that the new leadership at Metra will insure that traditionally underserved communities and groups are not forgotten.
“There should be fair consideration of local residents for jobs and equal opportunity for contracting,” Riley said. “We have to be sure that contracting opportunities and employment don’t “flyover” the very communities that need and deserve them going forward. It’s difficult to forget the controversy that took place during contracting process on this project. It was unnecessarily contentious, and often disrespectful. Yet, after numerous conversations I believe the current Executive Director and Chairman of Metra will have a more egalitarian view on the use of these public dollars for capital projects in the future.”
The Englewood Flyover lays the groundwork for two more CREATE projects. The planned 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project which will divert trains on Metra’s Southwest Service line to the Rock Island District line at a point south of Englewood. The planned Grand Crossing Project will divert six daily Amtrak trains to Norfolk Southern tracks east of Englewood.
For more information, please contact Riley by email at [email protected] or by phone at (708) 799-4364.