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Durbin: $400 Million in Illinois Transportation Funding Protected in Budget Agreement


WASHINGTON, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–April 12, 2011.  U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the agreement reached on funding the government through the end of FY2011 protects nearly $400 million in federal funding for eight transportation projects in Illinois that were targeted for rescission in the House Republican’s FY2011 Budget plan (H.R.1). For over a month, Durbin has been travelling the state to draw attention to the negative impact these rescission would have on Illinois jobs and economic development.

“This is good news for several communities in Illinois that have planned and secured millions in private investment in anticipation of this funding,” said Durbin. “Withholding these federal funds would have stopped eight important projects dead in their tracks while killing hundreds of Illinois jobs in the process. I will continue working with the Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, and the Illinois Department of Transportation to see that these funds are obligated as soon as possible in order to protect them from any future rescission attempts.”

In March, Durbin sent a letter to LaHood urging him to obligate as soon as possible nearly $400 million in Illinois transportation funding. Obligating – making a legal commitment to allow a project to move forward – this funding would have likely kept eight Illinois projects safe from rescission under the House Republican’s 2011 Budget plan which targeted unobligated funding.

The eight Illinois projects that are no longer in jeopardy include:

  • Chicago to Quad Cities Amtrak route: $230 million in funding for the creation of a Chicago to Iowa City Amtrak route through the Quad Cities. The project – scheduled for completion in 2015 – will create 588 jobs per year for the first four years of design and construction. Once initiated, the new service is expected to increase business activity at $25 million per year.
  • Englewood Flyover CREATE project: $133 million in funding for a project that will create an estimated 1,450 jobs in Chicago, and is the linchpin for the CREATE rail modernization program. Completing the Englewood Flyover will also reduce delays for Amtrak riders and shorten commutes on Metra’s Rock Island line, in addition to enabling the elimination of delays on the Southwest Service Line.
  • Wadsworth Bridge Replacement: $3.7 million in funding to replace a railroad bridge in Wadsworth to help speed travel on Amtrak’s Hiawatha line between Chicago and Milwaukee.
  • CTA’s purchase of All-Electric Buses: $2.21 million in funding for the Chicago Transit Authority to purchase all-electric buses.
  • Peoria Warehouse District Project: $10 million in funding for a new complete street network in Peoria’s Warehouse District which is expected to remove obstacles to development in the area. Public investment in roads and private construction on this project are expected to support between 950 and 1,150 jobs. Private developers had also planned to build 350 residential units and more than 100,000 square feet of new commercial space, injecting nearly $110 million in private investment into the area.
  • Moline Multimodal Facility: $10 million in funding for the construction of an intermodal station which will serve as the Quad Cities stop for Amtrak service in downtown Moline. Construction is expected to generate nearly 750 construction jobs and result in the retention or creation of 1,100 private sector jobs. An additional $47 million in private investment is expected to come to the Quad Cities as a result of the transit oriented development centered on the Amtrak station.
  • Barrington EJ&E Grade Separation at US 14: $2.8 million in funding for the planning, designing and engineering of a grade separation at the U.S. Route 14 and Eastern Joliet & Elgin (EJ&E) Railway crossing. One of the most trafficked intersections along the EJ&E Railway is at U.S. Route 14 in Barrington, utilized by about 40,000 commuters daily.
  • Hybrid Paratransit Bus for Grundy County: $144,000 in funding for Grundy County to purchase a hybrid paratransit bus.

Source: durbin.senate.gov


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