Thursday, April 18, 2013

Illinois six-year transportation construction program includes public transit and rail investment

A commuter rail bridge, part of CREATE project GS15a, is rolled into place over Torrence Avenue near 130th Street in Chicago, Ill., in August 2012. A commuter rail bridge, part of CREATE project GS15a, is rolled into place over Torrence Avenue near 130th Street in Chicago, Ill., in August 2012. Mark Llanuza

A six-year, $12.62-billion construction program in Illinois has been put in place, which includes public transit and rail projects throughout the state.

The projects are part of Gov. Pat Quinn's agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois' economy forward, while updating the state's transportation system. The upcoming projects will address critical infrastructure needs while making major transportation improvements throughout the state.

"Illinois is the transportation hub of the nation and this program will ensure we have the modern infrastructure needed to compete with the world," Gov. Quinn said. "This major investment in roads, bridges and public transportation will drive economic growth in every part of Illinois and create tens of thousands of jobs."

For fiscal year 2014, the program has allocated $128 million for public transportation and $224 million for rail. The total allocations for the multi-year program are $1.81 billion for public transportation and $1.121 billion for rail.

Projects that are part of the fiscal years 2014-2019 program will begin after July 1 this year.

The program includes a number of grade-separation projects including $174.7 million for the 130th and Torrence Avenue project, part of the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program. CREATE's Englewood Flyover, which will build a rail-rail flyover to carry commuter train traffic over freight and intercity trains is also included in the plan.

Gov. Quinn's program also aims to re-establish or begin passenger service on a number of routes including the Chicago-Quad Cities-Iowa City Corridor, which includes new stations at Geneseo and Moline, as well as the Chicago-Rockford-Dubuque Corridor, which includes a new station in South Elgin.

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will also benefit from the plan, which includes $426 million for reconstruction of the Dan Ryan Branch of the CTA Red Line and $253 million for rehabilitation of the North Side Branch of the Red Line. The funding for the North Side Branch also includes new track and crossties for the Belmont-Howard portion of the Purple Line and Damen-Logan Square portion of the Blue Line.

A complete list of projects included in the program is available through the Illinois Department of Transportation's website.

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