The purpose of the Columbus Avenue at the Belt Railway Company of Chicago (BRC) Grade Separation Study is to reduce motorist delay due to rail conflict and enhance public safety at the at-grade crossing of Columbus Avenue at Maplewood Avenue and the BRC. This study will consider eliminating the at-grade crossing of Columbus Avenue by three BRC tracks. This will be accomplished by creating either an overpass or underpass for vehicles using Columbus Avenue at this location.


  • Improve safety
  • Eliminate delays
  • Improve aesthetics
  • Improve pedestrian/cyclist path
  • Improve traffic flow
  • Environmental benefits


The Columbus Avenue at BRC Grade Separation Study will be carried out in three different phases over a six year period. Phase I is currently fully funded. Phase II and Phase III are subject to funding availability.

  • Phase I / Engineering – Q2 2017 – Q2 2020
  • Phase II / Engineering – Q3 2020 – Q4 2021
  • Phase III / Construction – Q3 2022 – Q4 2023

Public Involvement

It is important to involve the local residents and businesses affected by this at grade crossing and take into account their needs and values.  There will be opportunities during the process to involve these stakeholders and take their input and concerns into consideration.  Primarily through the Community Advisory Group (CAG) meetings and at a public meeting.


This project is being developed using the principles of Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) As identified in IDOT’s CSS policies, stakeholder involvement is critical to project success. The CSS process strives to achieve the following:

Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) Guiding Principles

  • Involves stakeholders in process
  • Balance many factors
  • Address all modes of transportations
  • Use flexibility in design
  • Incorporate aesthetics
  • Achieve general understanding of agreement among stakeholders

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