Friday, March 5, 2010

Gov Quinn Announces Federal Stimulus Funding of $133 Million for Chicago Freight Rail, Will Result in 1500 jobs.


Chicago – March 5, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn US House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-MN) and Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-IL) to highlight federal funding for the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program’s Englewood Flyover in Chicago. The project received $133 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program to build a rail flyover in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood that will significantly reduce rail congestion. The project will create nearly 1,500 Illinois jobs.

“Illinois’ commitment to bringing home as much stimulus funding as possible is paying off,” Governor Quinn said. “This $133 million project will not only move the rail industry forward, it will also bring thousands of jobs to the area and keep Chicago as the hub of our nation’s transportation network.”

The project will build a rail flyover to carry the North South Metra Rock Island line over the East-West Norfolk Southern Amtrak line. A triple tracked bridge will be constructed to carry Metra operations over the four tracks of NS and a possible fifth track for a high speed intercity passenger rail connection to points east and/or south. 1,446 direct and indirect job years are estimated to be created from a $133 million investment.

This CREATE component project (P-1) will eliminate existing conflict between 78 Metra Rock Island trains and approximately 60 freight and Amtrak trains that presently cross at grade daily.

“The Englewood Flyover is a necessary project to improve current rail efficiency and to meet future demand for Metra, Amtrak, and freight service through the region,” said Illinois Transportation Gary Hannig. “This will also help establish high speed rail between Chicago and Detroit.”

“With the construction of the linchpin Englewood Flyover starting this year, CREATE continues to make great progress from where we began when I secured the first $100 million for the project in 2005,” Congressman Lipinski said. “In addition to enabling us to proceed with high-speed rail, this project will eliminate delays on Metra lines and help untangle our freight delivery system. I’m looking forward to working with Governor Quinn, Chairman Oberstar, Mayor Daley, and others to moving CREATE forward.”

CREATE is a first-of-its-kind partnership, bringing together the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Chicago Department of Transportation and the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

As a project of regional and national significance, CREATE has received tremendous support from lawmakers, public and private organizations and trade unions from across the U.S. For example, CREATE has received letters of support from as far away as Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif. – vital U.S. port locations that often see originating shipments that travel through Chicago.

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