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Foxx, Biden help mark ARRA's fifth anniversary by touring inland Illinois port

Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn toured America's Central Port in Granite City, Ill., on Wednesday to mark the fifth anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

The port's South Harbor project is being funded in part by ARRA dollars — a $14.5 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) I grant — and $4 million from the state of Illinois. The harbor is part of a larger plan to create a multi-modal gateway offering access to six Class Is, four interstates and an inland waterway.

"Smart investments in projects like this one at America's Central Port have put people back to work while building a 21st century infrastructure that will drive our economy forward," said Quinn in a press release.

A 1,200-acre multi-use facility and intermodal hub located along the Mississippi River, America's Central Port is owned and operated by the Tri-City Regional Port District. The port has access to BNSF Railway Co., CN, CSX Corp., Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern Corp. and Union Pacific Railroad. In addition, the Port Harbor Railroad provides switching services and connections to the Class Is and Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis.

ARRA investments made at America's Central Port and 32 other U.S. ports from TIGER program grants will continue to pay dividends when the "Great Recession is just a chapter in your grandkids’ economics textbook," said Foxx in his "Fast Lane" blog.

"When it’s finished, the [America's Central Port] project will connect four interstate highways and major rail lines so that businesses can move their goods faster from the factory to the river and then down the river to market," he said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/21/2014