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Denver's Regional Transportation District Board of Directors indicated that they will not pursue a 2012 sales and use tax election for the FasTracks transit expansion program. The board also gave staff direction to submit a revised plan with alternate assumptions. Over the past several months, RTD has evaluated technical, financial and economic information and input from regional stakeholders and the general public.

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is building a 21st century system linking all of L.A. with mass transit.

The city of Seattle, Wash., and Sound Transit broke ground on Seattle's newest streetcar line, the First Hill Streetcar.

The Chicago City Council passed an ordinance to create the Chicago Infrastructure Trust, a way to leverage private investment for transformative infrastructure projects and guide the city's renewal of these elements in the 21st century.

"Chicago will be a city that shapes its own destiny," said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "Nowhere is this more important than with our critical infrastructure needs. The Chicago Infrastructure Trust will allow us to consider transformative infrastructure projects and build a world-class infrastructure for our city."

Mayor Emanuel announced the Trust on March 1, in an event in which he was joined by former President Bill Clinton.

The trust will provide advantaged financing, enabling each project to customize a financing structure using taxable or tax-exempt debt, equity investments and other forms of support. Each project will be coordinated with the city and its sister agencies' long-term plan for transformational infrastructure investments.
The Chicago Infrastructure Trust was created with the private sector, non-profit organizations and union leaders. An amended ordinance was submitted this week, which calls for one Alderman to be on the trust's board and clarifies that the trust will be completely subject to FOIA, Open Meetings laws and the city's ethics ordinance.
The trust will require City Council approval for all projects and will operate as a non-profit organization as it seeks projects.

The trust passed by a vote of 41-7.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority Board of Directors approved an updated expenditure plan for the Foothill Extension light-rail project from Pasadena to Claremont. The expenditure plan includes an estimated cost to complete the 23-mile light-rail extension and a timeline for needing funding.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012 08:11

Illinois honors UP on 150 years of operation

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and the Illinois General Assembly proclaimed July 1, 2012, as Union Pacific Railroad Day in Illinois and honored Union Pacific Railroad on its year-long 150th anniversary celebration.

Koppers Inc., a subsidiary of Koppers Holdings Inc., and CSX Transportation Inc., have agreed to extend their existing sales contract for an additional five years through January 31, 2017. Koppers provides treated railroad crossties as well as other railroad related products and services to CSX.

The National Association of Railroad Passengers 2012 Dr. Gary Burch Memorial Safety Award was presented by the Burch family to three Amtrak employees for their groundbreaking work on the monitoring of track conditions, reducing the risk of accidents and derailments. The award, which honors individuals who have significantly enhanced rail passenger safety, is sponsored by the family of Dr. Burch, who died in a 1991 passenger train derailment in South Carolina.

Thursday, 26 April 2012 09:05

Remembering Dan Brown

Daniel L. Brown, 76, of Glen Carbon, Ill., born July 29, 1935, in St. Louis, Mo., passed away on Saturday morning, April 21, 2012, at Anderson Hospital in Maryville, Ill.

Michael Iden, a Union Pacific employee from Chicago, Ill., has been awarded the 2012 John H. Chafee Environmental Excellence Award. U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) was honored with the 2012 John H. Chafee Congressional Environmental Award.

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