Federal aid alone won't
pay for meaningful highway projects these days, U.S. Transportation Secretary
Ray LaHood said Monday during a visit to the Chicago suburbs, the Daily Herald
reports. Instead, tolls and public-private partnerships in addition to
government funding are the wave of the future when it comes to transportation
improvements, he noted.
partnerships, tolling, the highway trust fund ... a combination of these things
and we'll get there. But right now we're trying to find the path forward,"
LaHood said, while at a stop in Barrington, Ill.
The Peoria Republican
returned to Illinois to meet with U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean, a Barrington
Democrat, and local leaders to talk about transportation needs and tour several
controversial railroad crossings.
The Canadian National
Railway's purchase of the smaller EJ&E railroad to relieve congestion on
some of its busier tracks is opposed by Barrington and other towns along the
line because of traffic and safety concerns.
Although opponents are
suing to overturn federal regulators' 2008 decision permitting the merger,
"it's reality," LaHood said of the acquisition.
The pending surface
transportation bill, a multi-year funding program for roads and transit, will
provide critical assistance for projects across the country when it is passed,
"I think the region
should look to the next transportation bill as an opportunity to solve some of
these big transportation issues," he said.
But the secretary noted
that finding the cash to finance the program is a challenge, particularly given
the depleted state of the highway trust fund, which is funded largely by
gasoline taxes and has had to receive emergency allocations from Congress.
because people drive less and drive more efficient cars," LaHood said.
And given that President
Obama opposes raising the gas tax in the current economic climate, "we've
got to be creative and think outside the box," when it comes to funding
the surface transportation bill, LaHood said.
Touring EJ&E railroad
crossings with LaHood was productive, Barrington Mayor Karen Darch said, adding
the village will continue its legal fight against the U.S. Surface
Transportation Board's ruling.
"One likely scenario
is that the court could remand it back to the board for further environmental
review that could lead to further mitigation," she said.
Ontario's plan to save $4
billion by postponing the construction of Greater Toronto Area transit
infrastructure was met with uncertainty by various industry stakeholders, the
Daily Commercial News And Construction Record reports.
The U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers warns that legal disputes over property access needed to build
levees, floodwalls and gates in eastern New Orleans could mean that area won't
get 100-year protection by the promised June 1, 2011, deadline, says an
editorial in The Times-Picayune.
A study of possible
high-speed, intercity rail for Colorado has found that lines between Fort
Collins and Pueblo and between Denver International Airport and Eagle County
have the best "operating and cost-benefit results" of the options
evaluated, The Denver Post reports.
Major work on the new
rail station at Puritas Avenue and West 150th Street in Cleveland
will shut down rail service for about two hours in the middle of the day on
Monday, March 29. Rush hours are not expected to be affected. Shuttle buses
will replace rail service between Hopkins Airport and the West Park Station.
The exact time of the two-hour shutdown will not be known until Monday, but it
will be between 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.
As part of the
Patrick-Murray Administration's transportation reform agenda to strengthen
customer service, newly appointed MBTA General Manager Richard Davey said a
customer convenience for Orange Line riders providing for the first time
wireless telephone services along the entire Orange Line underground
corridor. Orange Line customers in
Boston can use their wireless devices from end to end of the Orange Line,
including 19 stations.
AG is acquiring the permanent-way segment of Saargummi Deutschland GmbH and
thus buttressing its Fastening Systems business unit. Located in Wadern-Büschfeld
in Germany's Saarland, the segment is a leading supplier of highly elastic
intermediate layers and pads for rail fastening systems. The addition will mean
an extension to the Vossloh business unit's vertical production processes plus
the acquisition of highly specific expertise in the processing of synthetic and
natural rubbers. Following the takeover by Vossloh the permanent-way segment of
Saargummi Deutschland GmbH will continue to operate at the Wadern-Büschfeld
Work on a $2.8-million
project to add additional signals to the Caltrain signal system will take place
from 11:30 p.m. to 8 a.m., Saturday, April 3 between the San Carlos and
The Los Angeles County
Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors approved the terms for
the Funding Transfer and Master Cooperative Agreements between the agency and
Foothill Extension Construction Authority, setting the stage for construction
to begin on the first new rail project funded by Measure R.