November 16, 2017

Duckworth Helps Break Ground on Metra’s Fox River Bridge Project


[ELGIN, IL] - U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today joined Metra officials to break ground on the new Fox River Bridge in Elgin, Illinois. When she was in the U.S. House of Representatives, Duckworth led a Congressional coalition in sending a letter of support for the project. Following her letter, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $14 million in federal funding through the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recover) grant program for the new double-track bridge that will help eliminate the bottleneck between freight rail and Metra's Milwaukee District - West Line. A photo of Duckworth at the groundbreaking is available here.

"Investing in our state's infrastructure is one of the most important things we can do to move Illinois forward," Senator Duckworth said. "This project, which will use a significant infusion of federal TIGER funds to replace the 136-year-old Fox River Bridge, will improve safety and relieve congestion. Commuters deserve reliable transit to get them to and from work, which lowers commute times and gives Illinoisans more time to spend with their families. I will continue working to protect programs like TIGER from proposed cuts and to secure additional federal funding for improvements like this that spur economic development and create good-paying jobs for Illinoisans."

The current Fox River Bridge was built in 1881 and is the only remaining single-track segment of the line into Chicago, which causes significant delays for 54 Metra trains and up to eight freight trains that pass over it each day.

"Replacing this bridge will improve the reliability, performance and operational flexibility of the Milwaukee District West Line," said Metra CEO/Executive Director Don Orseno. "Without the support we've received from our delegation in Washington to secure the funding, this long-planned project would not be coming to fruition. We are extremely grateful for their help."

As a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Duckworth oversees issues related to the nation's transportation systems and infrastructure projects and works to ensure Illinois receives adequate funding from the federal government to rebuild and modernize state infrastructure and transportation systems.