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Archive for the ‘EJ&E/Canadian National’ Category

Fuming in the idling car while an interminable freight train steals 20 minutes you’ll never get back? Get revenge — or at least get on the record — by reporting the delay to a new Federal Railroad Administration database.

The agency recently launched the website www.fra.dot.gov/blockedcrossings with the intent of capturing data on blocked crossings to help identify chronic situations where trains cause traffic jams and hamstring first-responders for long stretches of time.

Freight trains have grown in length by about 25% since 2008, with trains on some railroads averaging 1.2 to 1.4 miles in 2017, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Read more here.

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Residents in Hoffman Estates and Elgin are enlisting elected officials in their fight to block plans for a second railroad track beginning here at Shoe Factory Road in Hoffman Estates and running south to Spaulding Road in Elgin.

Hoffman Estates and Elgin residents fighting an expansion of Canadian National Railway tracks near their homes are enlisting federal, state and local leaders in their efforts to raise concerns with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which could issue a permit for the project later this month.

CN, through its subsidiary Wisconsin Central Limited, wants to build a second line of railroad track spanning 4.27 miles from Shoe Factory Road in Hoffman Estates to Spaulding Road in Elgin. Together with existing track, the project would create a 6.1-mile stretch of double track.

According to the proposal, the double track would allow the railroad to boost “fluidity” and reduce train idling. CN said in its permit application that it expects to run an additional nine trains per day in 2020.

Both the Hoffman Estates and Hanover Township boards have passed resolutions objecting to CN’s plans.

Read more here.

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Barrington’s budget for next year includes funding for projects such as second-phase engineering for a proposed Northwest Highway underpass at Canadian National Railway tracks near Lake Zurich Road. Officials said a grant will pay for the engineering.

Barrington will have a $36 million budget for next year that includes funding for a short road to a Metra station parking lot, new police squad cars and a water main upgrade.

Three projects, including second-phase engineering for a proposed Northwest Highway underpass at the Canadian National Railway tracks near Lake Zurich Road, will be paid with grants received by the village.

About $9.6 million has been set aside for infrastructure work and equipment purchases in 2020. Along with the engineering for the planned Northwest Highway underpass, the to-do list includes a Flint Creek restoration project and Hart Road water main reconstruction.

Money also has been budgeted for construction of an entrance from Northwest Highway into the north commuter parking lot for the downtown train station and the purchases of three police squad cars and a fire department ambulance.

Read more here.

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Barrington Unit District 220’s lawsuit against Hoffman Estates and the developers of the Plum Farms proposal for the northwest corner of routes 59 and 72 was dismissed this week . (Click on image to enlarge)

Barrington Unit District 220’s lawsuit against Hoffman Estates and the developers of the stalled

Barrington Unit District 220’s lawsuit against Hoffman Estates and the developers of the Plum Farms proposal for the northwest corner of routes 59 and 72 was dismissed this week.

proposal at the northwest corner of routes 59 and 72 has been dismissed by a Cook County circuit court judge.

But the question of how much that lawsuit had to do with the residential and commercial project’s idleness for the past 2½ years has yet to be answered.

Members of the Plum Farms development partnership did not respond to a request for comment, and Hoffman Estates officials said they haven’t heard from them, either, since the lawsuit’s dismissal on Monday.

As proposed, Plum Farms would include single-family homes on 145 acres previously disconnected from Barrington Hills. The remainder of the land would combine multifamily housing and commercial development.

Hoffman Estates’ development agreement limits Plum Farms to 1,250 dwelling units of various types, but the most recent plan submitted by the developer calls for only 1,035.

Read more from the Daily Herald here.

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Hoffman Estates officials have recommended approval of a village-initiated tax increment financing district to spur commercial growth at the northeast and northwest corners of Higgins and Old Sutton roads.

Hoffman Estates officials are poised to grant an economic incentive Jan. 6 to spur development just west of The Arboretum of South Barrington shopping center, helping the vacant site join the commercial development going on around it.

The village’s planning, building and zoning committee voted 6-1 Monday to recommend approval of a tax increment financing district to pay for sewer and water utilities on the northeast and northwest corners of Higgins and Old Sutton roads.

The proposed TIF district would include a 24-acre parcel and a 16-acre parcel along Higgins Road west of Route 59 as well as adjacent right of way for a total of 64 acres.

Potential developments for the site include a gas station and convenience store along Old Sutton, 100,000 square feet of self storage along the CN Railroad tracks, and a 150,000-square-foot retail center. (Sound familiar?)

Read more here.

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A game-changing underpass at Route 14 and the CN tracks is within Barrington’s grasp after regional officials awarded the village $48.5 million in federal funds Thursday.

Barrington leaders have been chipping away for years at the $73.5 million project separating busy Route 14 from the Canadian National Railway tracks that host multiple freight trains. The project will rebuild Route 14 so it runs under the CN tracks.

Federal grants have already supplied about $11 million, and Darch expects the remaining $14 million to be generated through federal, state, and some local contributions along with funding from CN.

Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and a related group, the Metropolitan Planning Organization policy committee, approved the grant Thursday. About $10.6 million will be awarded to Barrington in 2020 and $37.9 million will come in 2023.

Read the full Daily Herald article here.

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Intent on making vacant land west of The Arboretum of South Barrington shopping center viable for development, Hoffman Estates officials may create a tax increment financing district to pay for sewer and water utilities on the site.

The land in question is a 24-acre parcel and a 16-acre parcel at the northeast and northwest corners of Higgins and Old Sutton roads. Along with adjacent right of way, a total of 64 acres would be included.

The development partnership behind Plum Farms dropped its request for a TIF district amid controversy over its plans for dense residential development, a proposal that drew objections from school officials and others.

Read more from the Daily Herald here.

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