Update: I added some overview pictures at the end and then I added some views from Global Earth.
While taking some pictures of a mixed freight from the Belmont Station platforms, I also took some pictures of the CREATE's $60.3M GS7 underpass project. The referenced write up does not describe the importance of the crossing very well. Downers Grove has 6 crossings -- all were grade crossings. The grade separation at Belmont helps relieve congestion at other crossings also. The write ups are also supposed to indicate if the crossing impacts emergency services. It didn't mention any impacts. But most of the bigger office buildings and hotels are on the north side of town whereas the hook-and-ladder truck is housed south of the tracks. And the hospital is north of the tracks but many of the people live south of the tracks. And some of the school buses for Downers Grove North High School serve houses south of the tracks. At least the kids from Woodridge can no longer use being blocked by a train as an excuse for being late in the morning. (During the rush hour, the gates will sometimes be down for a while because an express will trip the gates before they go up after a local, or vice-versa. BNSF tries not to run freight trains during the rush hours.)
It is easy to see from the grouping of the girders that the bridge is supporting 3 tracks. The aesthetic touch on the retaining walls are grooves in the concrete. The pattern is more of an artsy statement than a suggestion of stone construction. But I still like it.
The project also included a pedestrian tunnel.
...because the view to the right is taken looking south from that intersection so that you can see were the bridge for the St. Joe Creek is with respect to the underpass. It was the proximity of this creek that allows the underpass to be drained. However, we have had a heavy rainfall since the underpass was built, and it demonstrated that when the creek fells up with water, the underpass also fills up with water.
To the left is a view of the creek to the West from the bridge. Note the trees in the upper right hand corner. The view to the right is a closeup of those trees showing how nature can "reclaim" man made structures.
As I arrived at the Curtis intersection, an eastbound tank car train went through. I caught just the end of the second locomotive, 7829 (ES44DC). The first locomotive was also plain BNSF orange.
My first trip to Belmont had an intermodal train parked on the tracks. You can see the station between cars on the left and on the right, thanks to an empty car, you can see both the north and south entrance buildings for the pedestrian tunnel.
Since I've learned how to use the timeline feature of Global Earth, here is what it looked like in Mar, 2002 before they did the work. And that is how it continued to look through Oct, 2007.
|Susan Annella shared|
We will never forget this day! 
|David Brouwer commented on Susan's share|
|Victoria Lee commented on Susan's share|
Washington Park doings it's job and keeping most of the surrounding basements dry!!!