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Illinois transportation budget includes $1.8 billion for public transit, $1.1 billion for rail


Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on Wednesday unveiled a six-year, $12.6 billion transportation program that includes funds to improve freight- and passenger-rail infrastructure, public transit systems, highways and airports.

Covering fiscal years 2014 through 2019, the program includes $9.5 billion for roads, $1.8 billion for public transportation, $1.1 billion for rail and $159 million for airports. In FY2014, the allocations are $2.2 billion for road projects, $128 million for public transportation, $224 million for rail and $68 million for airport improvements.

"Illinois is the transportation hub of the nation, and this program will ensure we have the modern infrastructure needed to compete with the world," said Quinn in a press release. "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."

The $1.8 billion budgeted for public transit includes funds to improve safety, repair infrastructure, rehabilitate and modernize assets, and support system growth, such as new multi-modal or transit facilities, station upgrades and new bi-level rail cars.

The $1.1 billion rail budget includes funds for freight-rail improvements, interlocked rail connections, new multi-modal facilities and passenger-rail services, high-speed rail projects, and new grade separations and flyovers governed by the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) program.

FY2014 funding allotments for individual projects include:
• $174.7 million to eliminate grade crossings on two Norfolk Southern Railway mainlines at 130th Street and Torrence Avenue in Chicago for CREATE;
• $132.6 million to build a flyover over Metra and NS/Amtrak lines in Englewood for CREATE;
• $60 million for passenger-rail development in the Chicago-Rockford-Dubuque, Iowa, high-speed corridor;
• $5.5 million for a new freight-rail siding in the Rochelle area; and
• $1.2 million for new freight-rail infrastructure in Mount Vernon.

In addition, the program includes funds for the Chicago-Quad Cities-Iowa City high-speed rail corridor, the reconstruction of the Chicago Transit Authority's Red Line-Dan Ryan branch and rehabilitation of its Red Line-North Side branch, and Metra's station upgrades and purchase of 160 electric Highliner cars.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/19/2013