BNSF Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program (CREATE) Project WA4

Project Summary

Hanson provided design engineering services for the civil, track and bridge design for the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program (CREATE) WA4 BNSF Panhandle connection track from the Chicago Subdivision (MP 4.0) to the Chillicothe Subdivision (MP 4.6). The rail corridor is between 18th Street to the north and 31st Street to the south and between California Avenue to the west and Western Avenue to the east.

The track design includes a new mainline track on existing embankment between the subdivisions, a distance of approximately 1.6 miles, with crossovers and connections to CSX on the north end and CSX, Norfolk Southern (NS) and Canadian National (CN) on the south end. Hanson facilitated project discussions with BNSF, NS, CSX, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) to agree on solutions for track alignments and the shared-use viaducts.

Hanson performed an evaluation of the structures within the CREATE WA4 corridor. Structural components that were found to be beyond their lifespans were replaced. The final bridge design included the design of the new superstructure and the rehabilitation of the substructure for structures carrying the new track over 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th and 31st streets and 31st Boulevard. The fixed approach spans to the double track structure over the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal were replaced, all substructure elements were rehabilitated and the movable span was repaired to support current AREMA loads and double stack train clearances.

Hanson also provided construction management services for the project, proactively managing critical path activities, including the reconstruction of 10 railroad bridges and more than 1.3 miles of trackbed grading, to assist the contractor in meeting the specified quality requirements, schedule and budget.

Design and construction management services also included:

  • coordination of bridge solutions with BNSF, CSX and NS in shared-use locations
  • identification and application of environmental permits prior to and during construction for work in Chicago
  • oversight of construction activities to manage compliance with environmental commitments and permits
  • obtaining CDOT Office of Underground Coordination approval of all subsurface construction and earth-retaining structures
  • coordination and development of acceptable traffic control plans and detours for IDOT and CDOT roadways
  • assistance with intrarailroad coordination to maintain the project design and construction schedules
  • coordination with the CREATE project management office and IDOT to facilitate railroad reimbursement