CHICAGO TRACK ELEVATION

BELT RAILWAY OF CHICAGO

Ordinances passed by the City of Chicago, requiring the railroads to elevate their trackage. Ordinances are listed chronologically at the Chicago Track Elevation page, which contains a more comprehensive background on track elevation in Chicago.

Ordinances are listed sequentially along the line, along with further commentary.


Line is grade separated from Grand Ave. through Cicero Ave. near 54th St. diverging on the 59th Street Line, except for Archer Ave. which will be separated as part of the CREATE plan. Line is also grade separated from Cicero Ave. at Clearing Yard to South Chicago, except for Columbus Ave. which will also be separated as part of the CREATE plan.


Grand Ave. to Kinzie St.
January 13, 1902
Ordinance for elevation of Milwaukee Road Council Bluffs Division from 40th Ave. (now Pulaski Rd.) to 51st Ave. (now Leclaire Ave.), for elevation of Chicago & North Western Mayfair Cutoff from 40th Ave. (now Pulaski Rd.) to Milwaukee Ave., and elevation of Belt Railway of Chicago from Grand Ave. to Kinzie St. Deadline for completion December 31, 1906.

Kinzie St. to Adams St.
April 6, 1898
Ordinance for elevation of Belt Railway of Chicago from Kinzie St. to Adams St.

Adams St. to Ogden Ave.
October 22, 1906
Ordinance for elevation of Belt Railway of Chicago from Adams St. to Ogden Ave., and elevation of Chicago Terminal & Transfer Railroad Altenheim Line from 44th Ave. (now Kostner Ave.) to 48th Ave. (now Cicero Ave.). Ordinance also for raising of Metropolitan West Side Elevated Railway bridge at 46th Ave. over Belt Railway of Chicago. Deadline for completion December 31, 1916.

Ogden Ave. to 26th St.
September 30, 1882
Ordinance by town of Cicero, for elevation of Belt Railway of Chicago from Ogden Ave. to 26th St.

31st St.
September 28, 1938
Ordinance for 31st St. viaduct over Belt Railway of Chicago.

47th St.
December 1, 1941
Ordinance for depressed subway under Belt Railway of Chicago at 47th St.

Grade crossing continues to exist at Archer Ave., which will be eliminated with the CREATE plan.

Cicero Ave. (54th St.)
October 16, 1941
Ordinance for depressed subway under paralleling Belt Railway of Chicago 59th Street Line and Indiana Harbor Belt Stock Yards Line at Cicero Ave.

Grade crossings continue to exist in vicinity of Midway Airport.

Cicero Ave. (Clearing Yard) to Pulaski Rd.
March 2, 1914
Ordinance for construction of new Belt Railway of Chicago Clearing Yard, and construction of 59th Street Line providing access to west end of Clearing Yard. Ordinance also provided for Cicero Ave. and Crawford Ave. (now Pulaski Rd.) viaducts over railroad east of Clearing Yard. The 59th Street Line, after diverging from the main line, originally followed 59th St. west of Cicero Ave. This line actually bisected the square mile of land which later became Chicago Municipal Airport, now Midway Airport. The airport originally was confined to the land south of 59th St. But with the growth of air travel and the development of larger aircraft requiring longer runways, the Chicago City Council recognized the need to expand the airport north of 59th St. An ordinance was passed January 25, 1937, requiring the Belt Railway of Chicago to shift its line north, paralleling the Indiana Harbor Belt Stock Yards Line which was north of 55th St.

Kedzie Ave.
Around 1920's-1930's
Opening of Kedzie Ave. viaduct over Belt Railway of Chicago. No ordinance could be found for this viaduct.

Grade crossing continues to exist at Columbus Ave., which will be eliminated with the CREATE plan.

Western Ave.
March 12, 1924
Ordinance for elevation of paralleling Belt Railway of Chicago and Wabash and Baltimore & Ohio freight line at Western Ave. At the time, the Baltimore & Ohio freight line diverged from the passenger line at 75th Street interlocking, replaced with present route diverging at 79th Street with ordinance adopted June 30, 1926. Deadline for completion December 31, 1925.

Western Ave. to Wood St.
July 11, 1928
Ordinance for elevation of Wabash from Wood St. to Western Ave., for elevation of Belt Railway of Chicago from Western Ave. to Wood St., and elevation of paralleling Baltimore & Ohio and Pittsburgh Cincinnati Chicago & St. Louis from 69th St. to 87th St. Various deadlines for completion of certain segments, deadline for final completion December 31, 1935.

Wood St. to State St.
July 13, 1908
Ordinance for elevation of Chicago & Western Indiana from 70th St. to State St. and to Oakdale on Dolton Branch, for elevation of Rock Island from 76th St. to 90th St., for elevation of Rock Island South Chicago Line from Gresham to State St., for elevation of Rock Island Suburban Line from Gresham to Carpenter St., for elevation of Wabash from 74th St. to Wood St., and elevation of Belt Railway of Chicago from Wood St. to State St. Deadline for completion December 31, 1914, south portions December 31, 1915. Ordinance amended, extending deadline for completion to December 31, 1916.

State St. to Jeffery Ave.
April 5, 1911
Ordinance for elevation of Illinois Central from 79th St. to Kensington, for elevation of Nickel Plate Road from 79th St. to Pullman Jct., for elevation of paralleling Chicago & Western Indiana and Belt Railway of Chicago and Rock Island South Chicago Line from State St. to Pullman Jct. and the latter two railroads beyond to Jeffery Ave., and elevation of Chicago & Western Indiana Dolton Branch from 111th St. to Kensington. Ordinance provided for alternate plans depending on whether railroads would agree to grade separate their crossings, including Pullman Jct. which did not become grade separated. Deadline for completion Illinois Central south portion December 31, 1916, Chicago & Western Indiana and Belt Railway of Chicago and Rock Island December 31, 1918, and Illinois Central and Nickel Plate Road December 31, 1921.

Jeffery Ave. to South Chicago Ave.
June 25, 1906
Ordinance for elevation of paralleling Lake Shore & Michigan Southern and Pittsburgh Fort Wayne & Chicago from Stony Island Ave. to 100th St., for elevation of Baltimore & Ohio from 90th St. to 100th St., for elevation of Illinois Central South Chicago Branch from 90th St. to 93rd St., and elevation of paralleling Belt Railway of Chicago and Rock Island South Chicago Line from Jeffery Ave. to South Chicago Ave. Deadline for completion December 31, 1911, west portions December 31, 1916. Ordinance not accepted by Illinois Central, revised ordinance for that line adopted July 1, 1912. Ordinance amended December 18, 1911, extending deadline for completion of initial work to December 31, 1912.