In June, U.S. Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined U.S. Reps. Aaron Schock (R-IL) and Rodney Davis (R-IL) united in support of the city's application for federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant funding.
"The Carpenter Street project is an important step toward improving rail safety and efficiency in Springfield," Kirk said in the letter. "To remain competitive, Illinois needs support for its rail system. This effort shows that investing in infrastructure is a bipartisan, bicameral priority."
Durbin said, "Today, we are able to bring a piece of that funding back to my hometown of Springfield for an important project that will improve travel in and around the city, increase safety and create good paying jobs in the region. As Congress negotiates future transportation spending bills, we need to make certain that funding is maintained for programs, like TIGER, that empower local officials rather than the federal government to decide what projects will best spur economic development in their communities."
Earlier this year, the city of Springfield and Sangamon County, with the support of the Illinois Department of Transportation, submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Transportation for $14 million in funding through the TIGER grant program. The FY2013 Transportation Appropriations bill signed into law on March 26, 2013, appropriated $475 million for the program.