The Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) Track Improvement Project lies along a section of the UPRR track between Joliet and Dwight, Illinois and extends 36 miles across Will County, Grundy County and northeastern Livingston County. It passes through or near the Illinois communities of Joliet, Elwood, Wilmington, Braidwood, Godley, Braceville, Gardner, and Dwight.
The actions proposed by Illinois DOT (Project) includes the following components: 1) track upgrades from mileposts (MP) in Joliet (MP 36.7) to Dwight (MP 72.8) to allow 110-mph trains where safe and practical, 2) a new second mainline track along the UPRR from Joliet (MP 36.7) to Elwood (MP 44.69), and 3) a freight siding between MP 55.0 to MP 57.13. Since the completion of the Environmental Assessment (EA), the proposed project has been revised to include the acquisition of additional right-of-way for the second mainline track and improvements to the existing siding in Dwight. It is anticipated that the Project will be funded through the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program (HSIPR), the state of Illinois and UPRR.
In cooperation with the FRA, IDOT prepared an EA for the Project in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. § 4321 et seq. and the FRAs Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts (64 FR 28545). On November 16, 2011, based on the information presented in the EA, the FRA Administrator signed a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). As a result, all Federal environmental requirements have been satisfied for this project.