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

Hough and James

Per the Village of Barrington:

“Following last year’s pavement improvements at the CN track crossing on Hough Street, CN will be replacing the vehicular train gates and adding pedestrian train gates at this location starting on Tuesday, July 11th.

Work is anticipated to last approximately 2 weeks. The road will remain open during this work, however, certain operations will require lane closures with flagged traffic direction. Expect delays and please reduce speed in work zones.”

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With three seats up for election on the Barrington Village Board next Tuesday, two newcomers are in the running as two incumbents seek another term.

Brian Prigge and Margot Dallstream have made their first foray into local government facing incumbents Jason Lohmeyer and Kate Duncan in the April 4 election.

Dallstream said she would like to see more activities for kids and teens and more, mid-priced restaurants for family dining.

Dallstream, 58, said with home rule in Barrington, “it made me very concerned who was on the board.”

“The scope of authority of home rule is quite large. I wanted to be involved in that process. I voted in favor of it, with caution. I like the idea of self- governance,” she explained.

She said the board has discussed a crime-free housing ordinance — since home rule was approved — which would impact her since she said about 40% of her block includes rental property and there have been some crime situations in her neighborhood.

She’s also hoping the new home rule sales tax will speed up infrastructure improvements such as roads, sidewalks, parking areas and the wastewater treatment plant.

Dallstream, a married mother of three daughters and active community volunteer, said she is supported by the Suburban Action PAC, a group formed in 2020 by parents in the Barrington community who felt they were not being heard at school board meetings, particularly around keeping schools closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine requirements.

With one daughter now attending Barrington High School, Dallstream said she spoke out about vaccine mandates and sharing data.

Read more here.

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Darch Triangle

Barrington village trustees unanimously approved plans Monday to redevelop the 6.2-acre Golden Triangle site downtown with a four-story building that will includes homes, retail space and a restaurant. (Courtesy of the Village of Barrington)

A proposal for a mixed-use development in downtown Barrington’s 6.2-acre Golden Triangle area passed its final test this week.

Barrington village board members unanimously approved the development at 200-300 N. Hough St. Monday, clearing the way for a four-story building on the former Market Center and Volvo dealership property.

The building will contain 125 residential units and 12,000 square feet of commercial restaurant/retail space. The proposal also calls for 37 “car condominiums.”

Developer and Barrington resident Joe Taylor said he plans to operate a full-service restaurant on the property that will not replicate what already exists downtown Barrington.

Read more here.

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CN overhead

A Canadian National train passes through the crossing on Route 59 between Northwest Highway and Hough Street in Barrington. The recent derailment of a train with hazardous chemicals in Ohio has led to questions about how a similar event would be addressed in Barrington. (Daily Herald file photo)

Since the Canadian National Railway acquired the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway in 2009, Barrington has raised concerns about the volume of freight train traffic it’s caused and delays at rail crossings.

Now, in the wake of the fiery derailment of a 50-car train in East Palestine, Ohio, Barrington residents are asking what would happen if a similar disaster happened here.

“We have a lot of freight traffic, especially on the Canadian National,” Village President Karen Darch said during Monday’s village board meeting. “And I just want to say to the folks who are listening that that’s something that’s been top of mind, especially since CN purchased the former EJ&E years ago.”

She said the village’s firefighters and first responders have received training on hazardous material emergencies, and the town’s emergency operations plan addresses scenarios involving releases of hazardous materials.

The Barrington Area Council of Governments also has conducted a hazardous materials tabletop exercise, Darch said.

Communities along freight rail paths, the railroads and federal regulators should learn from the information gathered by the National Transportation Safety Board on the Ohio derailment, which will lead to better standards, she added.

Darch also urged residents to provide the village with contact information, so officials can get in touch if an evacuation is needed.

Read more here.

We’ll reserve comment except to note that the Village of Barrington is poised to vote on approving: “Luxury apartments, restaurants. What Barrington might do with its ‘Golden Triangle’.”

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According to the Village of Barrington:

“Monday (9/26) the Contractor will complete milling work on Main Street adjacent to the CN railroad tracks under the supervision of CN railroad flaggers and will begin paving operations at one or both of these railroad crossings, which will continue on Tuesday (9/27).

There will be delays associated with lane closures in this area during this work. The Contractor’s flaggers will maintain two-way traffic. Manhole grade adjustments will also be underway on Main Street throughout the Village during the rest of the week and into the beginning of next week.

Be alert when driving or walking in the construction zone, as this work will raise the structures approximately 2″ above the pavement so they are at the final roadway surface elevation. The placement of the final asphalt surface is anticipated to begin at Ela Road and move westbound beginning early next week.”

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Suburbanites protested CN’s merger with the EJ & E Railway in 2008 en route to a hearing at Barrington High School. (Daily Herald File Photo)

Fourteen years ago, suburbanites marched with homemade signs, lobbied their congressmen and hired lawyers in hopes of defeating a proposed merger between mega railroad CN and the smaller EJ & E Railway.

Despite all that, the U.S. Surface Transportation Board approved the deal in late 2008, albeit with tough conditions costing millions.

Now, a separate union between Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern railways awaits the STB’s decision. So, will history repeat itself in 2022?

In both cases. towns near the railway tracks have opposed the mergers, warning of long waits at crossings, delays for first responders, and increased crashes and hazmat spills.

The CP/KCS deal is far more ambitious than the 2008 one, and it would create a massive rail network from Canada to Mexico. So far, the STB staff is waving on the plan, expecting a “negligible” impact, analysts wrote in a draft report.

At a Thursday online forum, STB officials cited benefits like reduced air pollution.

CP anticipates “reducing truck transportation on highways in North America by more than 60,000 trucks each year,” STB project manager Joshua Wayland said.

Risks like derailments and hazmat spills would increase on some rail line segments, he explained. “We expect the risk of such incidents would remain small.” And most “would be minor and not result in injuries or fatalities,” Wayland said.

Read more here.

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BHS Trafic

“Sounds like a nuisance.” – The Daily Herald’s description of District 220’s traffic plan. Officials are so confused they’ve misspelled traffic signs.

“As you are aware, the Lake County Department of Transportation is replacing the bridge over Flint Creek on Hart Road. The bridge replacement and road closure is scheduled through November. To help mitigate traffic impacts from the road closure, representatives and traffic engineers from the Lake County Department of Transportation, the Village of Barrington, and Barrington 220 have worked in collaboration to improve traffic flow on and around the Barrington High School Campus. Although these efforts will help alleviate congestion at arrival and dismissal time, improved traffic flow can only go so far toward mitigating congestion.

To that end, Barrington 220 and the Village of Barrington have been consulting with Barrington Transportation to help reduce congestion near BHS. We ask that all students and families consider walking, biking, or riding the bus if possible. In fact, students who consistently walk, bike, or ride the bus on and off of campus will be entered into a drawing to win BHS spirit wear, gift cards for Airpods, Apple Watches and more.

Other ways to reduce congestion could be to utilize these remote options:

1) Purchase a parking permit for one of 3 locations at a cost of $100:

  • The Barrington – 540 W Northwest HWY (125 spots available) (MAP)
  • The Barrington Metra Station – 201 South Spring Street (125 spots available) (MAP)
  • St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church – 720 Dundee Ave (100 spots available) (MAP)

2) Sign-up for dropping off students at a remote location (FREE) 

  • The Barrington – 540 W Northwest HWY
  • The Barrington Metra Station – 201 South Spring Street

Both options include a shuttle bus from the location to BHS, leaving remote locations at 8AM and a shuttle bus from BHS to the remote locations at the end of the school day, arriving at the remote locations at approximately 3:50PM. Parking permit and remote drop-off is for August 22 to November 4.

From now until 7AM on Friday, September 6, 2022 you can click here to purchase a parking permit ($100) or sign up for drop off locations.

Please note, the Barrington Police department will be patrolling the additional parking areas, and violators will be ticketed and potentially towed at the owner’s expense. In addition, please be aware that parking in the remote lots is at your own risk. In the case of vandalism or damage occurring to their vehicle, the owner of the vehicle is responsible for remediating through their personal auto insurance, or out of pocket.

Please note that during the school year the main entrance to BHS off of Main Street will only be accessible to staff, buses and Build 220 construction traffic. All students and parents must use the west parking lot (off Hart Road) to access the building. The west parking lot is reserved for senior parking only.”


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Barrington Hills First Lady and Village of Lakemoor Building Permit Coordinator, Stephanie Cecola, was seen running at the start of the 2nd annual, “The Land We Love Run,” earlier this month.

The Summer 2022 edition of the Village Newsletter was recently released. Topics covered include:

  • President’s letter
  • 2nd Annual “The Land We Love Run” recap*
  • Horizon Farm public meeting
  • Tornado preparation tips
  • Donlea Road drainage update
  • Crime prevention, and
  • Pointers on whether permits are required for landscaping or earth moving

A copy can be viewed and downloaded here.

* Event participant results (no First Lady listed??), by category, can be found here.

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The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), in conjunction with the Canadian National Railway (CN), is reconstructing the badly deteriorated at-grade railroad crossing on IL 59 (Hough Street), north of James Street following their intermediate maintenance work last fall. IL 59 will be fully closed to through traffic at the CN Railroad tracks.

The closure will begin tomorrow, April 23rd, 2022 at 9:00 AM, and conclude on or before Thursday, April 28th, 2022 at 6:00 PM (Weather Permitting).

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Otis Road will be closed to thru traffic between Windrush Lane and Hawley Woods Road for five days starting tomorrow, April 16th, at 5:00 AM.

According to our Village Facebook page:

“The complete track structure will be replaced, with new rubber crossing surface installed.

The crossing renewal is scheduled to commence at 5:00 AM, Saturday, April 16th and to conclude by 6:00 PM, Wednesday, April 20th.

Complete road closure will be required for the duration of the project. Please obey all detour signs and barricades.

The proposed detour route is utilizing Brinker Rd to the west, Lake Cook Rd. (Main St) to the north, and Dundee Ave to the east.”

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