Milwaukee West Line Fox River Bridge Improvement Project Environmental Assessment (EA)
The Milwaukee West Line Fox River bridge, located about 35 miles northwest of downtown Chicago, is a railroad bridge that carries 54 Metra commuter trains and up to eight Canadian Pacific (CP) freight trains each weekday. The bridge (also known by its bridge number, Z-100) was originally constructed in 1881. The existing bridge carries a single mainline track over the river and connects to two tracks on either end of the bridge.
The project, known as the Milwaukee West Line Fox River Bridge Improvement Project (Metra Bridge Z-100), is sponsored by Metra and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Metra proposes to improve the existing bridge to address its poor and deteriorated condition and to provide a second mainline track across the Fox River. Funding for the Project would come from a combination of local and federal sources, including Metra, the CP Railroad, and a U.S DOT TIGER VII grant. The federal funds from the TIGER Grant are administered by FTA.
The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) mandates the consideration of environmental impacts before approval of any federally funded project that may have significant impacts on the environment or where impacts have not yet been determined. FTA and Metra prepared this Milwaukee West Line Fox River Bridge Improvement Project (Metra Bridge Z-100) Environmental Assessment (EA) in accordance with NEPA and other applicable regulations, including Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and other agency regulations and guidelines.
This EA considers the impacts of implementing the proposed Project on the physical, human, and natural environments in the project area. FTA will issue a finding on the proposed Project based on the significance of impacts identified during the NEPA process. FTA’s finding will guide future design and implementation of the Project.
Notice of Availability of Environmental Assessment (EA) and Notice of Open House Meeting (Public Notice, 2/8/2017)
March 2017 Public Hearing
Metra held a public hearing (Public Notice) at the Heritage Ballroom in the Centre of Elgin Recreation Facility (100 Symphony Way; Elgin, Illinois 60120) on Thursday, March 2, 2017 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to present the EA document for the Project and to solicit public comments from agencies and the public about findings in the EA. The hearing was conducted in an open house format.
Attendees had the opportunity to submit comments on the EA verbally to a court reporter or in writing during the hearing. The location of the hearing was compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and accessible by public transportation. All substantive comments received during the hearing and the public comment period (February 10, 2017 to March 16, 2017) will be addressed, and will be incorporated into the final NEPA decision document.
The public comment period is from February 10, 2017 to March 16, 2017. If you were unable to attend the public hearing, you can contact us with any comments or feedback on the Environmental Assessment (EA) via the following:
Grant Management & Accounting, 11th Floor
Attn: Milwaukee West Line Fox River Bridge Improvement Project (Metra Bridge Z-100)
547 W. Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60661