Do Toll Roads Have Priority Over Railroads?

Canadian Pacific Railroad is taking on the privately owned Illinois Tollway. Because of the changes in the interchange system, the authority now seeks to acquire, by eminent domain, major portions of a Canadian Pacific Chicago rail hub.

Traffic in the Chicago area is all important. At the same time, priority and respect should be provided to an important federally regulated transportation operation such as this railway yard.

If done right, Canadian Pacific will be victorious. The Tollway system would be wise to find another replacement now, prior to completion of the lengthy and potentially unsuccessful approval process.

The project has been designed a “Project of National and Regional Significance” by federal transportation legislation, the Tollway said.

Canadian Pacific’s beef has arisen out of the Tollway’s plans for the north-south connector route between the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) and the Tri-State Tollway (I-294.) Under the plans posted on the Tollway’s website, the portion of the proposed new roadway running south from Irving Park Road to the Tri-State would include a new interchange at the new highway’s junction with Franklin Avenue/Green Street in Bensenville.

And that route would not only take the new highway right through Canadian Pacific’s Chicago rail hub, but plant the new interchange right at the southern end of the more than 300-acre rail yard, the railroad said.