Posts Tagged ‘Chicago IL’

Deal to incease rail traffic in Lincoln Hwy towns

December 30, 2008

Chicago Breaking News reports that Canadian National Railway has won federal approval to purchase a line that would loop freight trains around Chicago, a bypass that may cause massive traffic problems in some suburban communities, including many on the Lincoln Highway. CNR says the deal will boost the Chicago-area economy by $60 million a year, creating hundreds of jobs and easing train gridlock.


The project will shift freight traffic away from the city by looping it in a 198-mile arc through the suburbs by using the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway. CNR is set to pay $300 million to U.S. Steel for that railway, $100 million to upgrade the line, and another $60 million to help communities deal with the traffic impact. The transportation board will require CNR to pay most of the cost of constructing two highway-rail grade separation projects, tens of millions of dollars more than originally estimated. One overpass or underpass would be at Ogden Avenue (US 34) in Aurora and the other at Lincoln Highway (US 30) in Lynwood. CNR also reached agreements to minimize the impact in the Lincoln Highway towns of  Joliet and Chicago Heights in Illinois, and Dyer and Schererville in Indiana.

The map above, from the LHA’s Driving Maps CD, shows the route looping south of Chicago, from Dyer, Indiana, on the east end through Chicago Heights, Joliet, Plainfield, and Aurora.

Book review: Lincoln Highway around Chicago

December 16, 2008

More than a half-year after moving and losing track of just about everything, I’m down to the last few boxes to open, and there in one of them was The Lincoln Highway around Chicago by Cynthia Ogorek. The 128-page book was published by Arcadia earlier this year — my review was to be a preview when I started this post in March! Since then many reviews have appeared favorably recapping the highlights. My best compliment about it is that it is unlike other LH books; it is not just a retelling of existing information, it is a grand amalgamation of numerous sources, some familiar to LH fans, others dug out from local archives. The introduction and captions bespeak of a solid familiarity with local history and geography. Although a few images from the LHA collection may be familiar to fans, nearly every page brings new and interesting vintage views.


Chapter 1 explores the original route and the people behind its improvement. Chapter 2 is all about the Ideal Section. Chapter 3 highlights roadside businesses, including some great gas station shots. Chapter 4 looks at the connection to the many electric interurban lines that served Chicago. (One of my favorite photos is found here — an aerial view of snowbound motorists astride the Park Forest neighborhood of Lincolnwoods, with an impending development across the road. It is also the source of the photo below that shows the Lincoln Theater in Chicago Heights, a 1960s shopping center in Matteson, and the fabulous Northgate Shopping Center Sign near Aurora — and I’m glad to report that Cynthia says this has been designated a local landmark.) Chapter 5 examines the inevitable bypasses. Chapter 6 reviews recent events, from restoration of the Ideal Section monument to Art Schweitzer’s efforts to document and salvage part part os that section; from Lincoln Highway Lady Lyn Protteau visiting the area to Mad Mac’s March across Illinois.


All of Arcadia Books leave me wanting more — more text, better quality on many photos, a break from the monotonous crammed design — but some authors rise above that to present well-researched, insightful books. This is one of them. $19.95 or $14.95 from Amazon.