U.S. Route 14 Grade Separation at CN/EJ&E Railway

Village of Barrington

U.S. Route 14 (Northwest Highway) is a four-lane major arterial roadway that serves the northwest suburbs of Chicago, carrying nearly 30,000 vehicles per day within the Village of Barrington.

Barrington’s roots grew adjacent to two rail lines which intersect approximately one-quarter mile northwest of the Village center: the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern (EJ&E) Railway and the Chicago & North Western (C&NW) Railroad. The C&NW became the Union Pacific (UP) Railroad and it now carries more than 70 commuter and freight trains per day. The EJ&E intersects U.S. Route 14 at-grade northeast of downtown Barrington, in addition to three other primary routes in the Village center. The UP intersects two primary routes in the Village.

Over the past several decades, the EJ&E Railway carried few trains through Barrington, averaging only 5 per day. In 2009, the Canadian National (CN) Railway acquired the EJ&E Railroad to improve its operations in the Chicago area, and approximately 12 trains per day are being run on the line today. Once track upgrades are completed, CN plans to 21 trains per day through Barrington.

The close proximity of the CN/EJ&E to the UP and the fact that the CN/EJ&E cuts across all three arterial routes within the Village center cause considerable traffic congestion within the Village center, especially during peak commuter hours. Studies by the Village found that increasing CN train volumes will considerably worsen traffic congestion and have a severe impact on emergency response times in the Village. A grade separation at U.S. Route 14 would free one of the three arterial routes in the Village from all railroad crossing delays and provide unimpeded access for emergency responders.

Because of these potential benefits, the Village secured a Federal TIGER II Planning Grant to investigate grade separation alternatives at the existing at-grade crossing of the U.S. Route 14 at the CN/EJ&E Railway. This Phase I Study includes extensive public involvement employing IDOT’s Context Sensitive Solutions process, an Environmental Assessment and Combined Design Report and drainage/hydraulic studies. Structural work items include developing bridge concepts for the proposed grade separation, including a multi-span highway bridge carrying U.S. Route 14 over the CN/EJ&E Railway and a ballasted thru-plate girder railroad bridge carrying the CN/EJ&E Railway over a depressed U.S. Route 14. Bridge Condition Reports for existing structures within the project limits and Type Size & Location plans for new and reconstructed structures will also be prepared. Existing structures potentially affected by the proposed improvement include the IL Route 59, U.S. Route 14, and Elm Road bridges over Flint Creek.


Federal, State

Scope of Services

  • Environmental Assessment and Design Studies
  • Alternatives Analysis
  • Location Design Report
  • Highway Bridges
  • Railroad Bridges
  • Location Drainage Studies
  • Hydraulic Studies
  • NEPA/404 Merger Process
  • Interagency Coordination
  • Section 4(f) Statement
  • Public Involvement
  • Context Sensitive Solutions Process
  • Community Advisory Group
  • Website Design