Court: CNR must cover two-thirds of Rte. 34 crossing
By Stephanie Lulay firstname.lastname@example.org Mar 16, 2011
A federal appeals court Tuesday upheld conditions imposed on the merger of the EJ&E Railroad and Canadian National Railway Co. requiring the railroad to pay two-thirds of the cost of the Route 34 crossing upgrade in Aurora, according to a published report.
The Surface Transportation Board imposed the conditions in its approval of Canadian National’s $300 million purchase of the Elgin Joliet & Eastern railroad which loops around Chicago, from northern Indiana to Joliet and north to Aurora, Naperville and Elgin.
Canadian National appealed the conditions, but the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia ruled against the railroad Tuesday, Crain’s Chicago Business reported.
The court ruling means that Canadian National has to pay 67 percent of the cost of a grade separation at Ogden Avenue on the far East Side of Aurora and 78.5 percent of a grade separation in Lynwood in Will County. The total cost to Canadian National could be as high as $68 million, according to the Crain’s report.
At a public hearing in Aurora last week, the Illinois Department of Transportation noted there currently are 33,000 vehicles crossing the EJ&E tracks on Route 34 near Frontenac Street daily, and there are projected to be 38,000 vehicles daily by 2040. And while Canadian National has 16 trains going through those tracks daily right now, that eventually will balloon to 40 daily, possibly even as soon as 2015.
IDOT is considering whether to build a road underpass or overpass at the crossing.
"I follow the scent of the falling rain and head for the place where it is darkest. I follow the lightning and draw near to the place where it strikes." Navajo chant