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CREATE partners back funding provision in Senate's economic stimulus proposal


Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program constituents are hoping a provision in the Senate’s version of the economic stimulus legislation will provide federal funding for the program.

The Senate version contains a "Supplemental Discretionary Grants for a National Surface Transportation System" provision that would offer $5.5 billion in federal funding.

“This new program offers an important source of monies for goods movement infrastructure,” CREATE officials said in an email soliciting support for the provision. “We view this as a very important step forward in providing funding for CREATE.”

The email encourages CREATE backers to contact Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Roland Burris (D-Ill.) and express support for the provision.

Funded through a public/private partnership, CREATE calls for developing one passenger-rail and four freight-rail corridors to reduce train delays, relieve rail and highway congestion, shorten commuters' travel times, and improve Chicago’s environment and public safety. CREATE partners plan to build roadway underpasses or overpasses to separate vehicle/pedestrian and rail traffic; overpasses to separate freight- and passenger-rail tracks; and upgrade track, switches, signal systems and other infrastructure.

CREATE partners include Amtrak, BNSF Railway Co., the Belt Railway Co. of Chicago, Canadian National Railway Co., Canadian Pacific Railway, CSX Transportation, Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Co., Metra, Norfolk Southern Railway, Union Pacific Railroad, and the Chicago, Illinois and U.S. Departments of Transportation.