Monday, December 14, 2009

Durbin reports major funding for Illinois projects

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Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said that the final Omnibus Appropriations Act that includes $126,432,544 in funding for several Illinois projects was approved by a joint House and Senate Conference Committee of which Durbin is a member. The House and Senate are expected to take up and pass the legislation before the end of the year. The bill will then go to the President for his signature.


Transportation area highlights include:
* CTA Circle Line, Chicago. $1,500,000 in funding to advance the Circle Line. The project, which is currently in Alternatives Analysis, will connect the existing CTA Orange Line near Ashland with the existing Pink Line Cermak Branch near 18th Street. It will also connect CTA Red and Brown Lines near North/Clybourn and add new CTA and Metra transfer stations along new and existing CTA tracks. The Circle Line will reduce travel times and enhance access between the growing city center and the entire region.
* CTA Ravenswood Brown Line, Chicago: $304,744 in funding for the capacity, expansion and station rehabilitation New Start project along the Brown Line. This funding is part of the Full Funding Grant Agreement signed in 2003 and represents the final payment under that agreement.
* CTA Red Line North Rehabilitation, Chicago. $7,500,000 in funding for rehabilitation of the north end of the CTA Red Line, which is one of the oldest segments and most in need of rehab in the CTA system.
* Metra, Northeastern Illinois. $8,000,000 in funding for alternatives analysis and preliminary engineering on METRA's New Starts expansion projects including the Union Pacific Northwest, Union Pacific West, Suburban Transit Access Route (STAR) and SouthEast Service Lines.
* Railway-Highway Grade Crossing Mitigation, Galesburg: $2,922,000 in funding to accelerate the City's efforts to build rail-road grade separations at East Main, West Main and Seminary Streets.
* Railway-Highway Grade Crossing Mitigation, Northeastern Illinois: $1,948,000 in funding to help communities along the EJ&E improve safety along at-grade railroad crossings facing significant increases in freight traffic
* Railway-Highway Grade Crossing Mitigation, Aurora: $1,000,000 in funding would help jumpstart work needed for a grade separation at Ogden Avenue.  This grade-separation was mandated by the Surface Transportation Board when they approved the Canadian National's purchase of the EJ&E Railway last year.  Ogden Avenue is slated to see a four-fold increase in rail traffic in the coming years. This traffic increase is also likely to significantly increase traffic congestion, further emphasizing the need for a grade separation. Durbin worked with Reps. Foster and Biggert on this project.
* PEERS Rail-Grade Crossing Safety, Illinois: $487,000 in funding for the PEERS program to improve rail-grade crossing safety through education and enforcement initiatives. An Illinois Commerce Commission report quantitatively demonstrated the effectiveness of the PEERS program in improving safety at highway-rail crossings, detailing how the program helped reduce fatalities along a Union Pacific line by 56.5 percenTransportation area highlights include:
* CTA Circle Line, Chicago. $1,500,000 in funding to advance the Circle Line. The project, which is currently in Alternatives Analysis, will connect the existing CTA Orange Line near Ashland with the existing Pink Line Cermak Branch near 18th Street. It will also connect CTA Red and Brown Lines near North/Clybourn and add new CTA and Metra transfer stations along new and existing CTA tracks. The Circle Line will reduce travel times and enhance access between the growing city center and the entire region.
* CTA Ravenswood Brown Line, Chicago: $304,744 in funding for the capacity, expansion and station rehabilitation New Start project along the Brown Line. This funding is part of the Full Funding Grant Agreement signed in 2003 and represents the final payment under that agreement.
* CTA Red Line North Rehabilitation, Chicago. $7,500,000 in funding for rehabilitation of the north end of the CTA Red Line, which is one of the oldest segments and most in need of rehab in the CTA system.
* Metra, Northeastern Illinois. $8,000,000 in funding for alternatives analysis and preliminary engineering on METRA's New Starts expansion projects including the Union Pacific Northwest, Union Pacific West, Suburban Transit Access Route (STAR) and SouthEast Service Lines.
* Railway-Highway Grade Crossing Mitigation, Galesburg: $2,922,000 in funding to accelerate the City's efforts to build rail-road grade separations at East Main, West Main and Seminary Streets.
* Railway-Highway Grade Crossing Mitigation, Northeastern Illinois: $1,948,000 in funding to help communities along the EJ&E improve safety along at-grade railroad crossings facing significant increases in freight traffic
* Railway-Highway Grade Crossing Mitigation, Aurora: $1,000,000 in funding would help jumpstart work needed for a grade separation at Ogden Avenue.  This grade-separation was mandated by the Surface Transportation Board when they approved the Canadian National's purchase of the EJ&E Railway last year.  Ogden Avenue is slated to see a four-fold increase in rail traffic in the coming years. This traffic increase is also likely to significantly increase traffic congestion, further emphasizing the need for a grade separation. Durbin worked with Reps. Foster and Biggert on this project.
* PEERS Rail-Grade Crossing Safety, Illinois: $487,000 in funding for the PEERS program to improve rail-grade crossing safety through education and enforcement initiatives. An Illinois Commerce Commission report quantitatively demonstrated the effectiveness of the PEERS program in improving safety at highway-rail crossings, detailing how the program helped reduce fatalities along a Union Pacific line by 56.5 percent in two years.
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