January 04, 2023

Duckworth, Durbin Announce $117 Million from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to Improve Metra’s UP-North Line


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the federal government is awarding a $117 million grant through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) they supported to Metra for improvements to the Union Pacific-North line. This funding is expected to be used to replace four miles of track structure, nearly two miles of retaining walls and 11 bridges that will each have a walkway as well as outside beams to reduce damage from potential truck strikes, along with other pedestrian and traffic improvements.

“So many Illinoisans rely on Metra to get to work and for so much more, and it’s critical that they are able to get where they’re going safely, easily and efficiently,” said Duckworth. “Today’s infusion of federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will go a long way toward helping Metra improve the UP-North line while making things easier for countless commuters and pedestrians in the process—so I’m proud to help announce it with Senator Durbin today.”

“For many Illinoisans, Metra is the only accessible transportation option they have,” said Durbin. “This makes it all the more critical that we continue working to improve the overall passenger rail experience. Thanks to this federal investment, the Metra Union Pacific-North line will be able to make much-needed updates to enhance their overall safety and reliability.”

“This grant award is a tremendous win for Metra commuters and our region,” said James Derwinski, Metra, CEO/Executive Director. “Thanks to the advocacy and leadership of Senator Durbin, Senator Duckworth, and our entire congressional delegation, this unprecedented investment in Metra bridges, some of which are over 100 years old, provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to enhance safety, reliability, and the state of good repair of our system. We are extremely grateful for our delegation’s support of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package and its creation of the MEGA grant program, grants that are designed to help address some of the nation’s biggest infrastructure challenges. This is one of the largest USDOT discretionary grant awards in the history of Metra and we look forward to working closely with all stakeholders to implement this critical project.”