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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

President to sign SAFETEA-LU bill today


It’s almost official: Today, President Bush will sign the Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2005: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) during a ceremony in Aurora, Ill.

Approved by Congress on July 29, the bill will provide $286.5 billion for transit and highway projects during the next six years. SAFETEA-LU includes $52.6 billion for public transportation projects and increases annual funding for the Section 130 grade crossing safety program from $165 million to $220 million.

"With the signing of this very important bill, we move forward into the 21st century with funding to maintain our existing infrastructure and develop new transit projects that are important to relieve congestion, improve mobility for all Americans and strengthen our economy," said American Public Transportation Association President William Millar in a prepared statement.

In addition, the bill will provide an initial federal funding commitment for the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program (CREATE). The six-year, $1.5 billion program includes creating five rail corridors, grade separating 25 crossings, building six flyovers to separate freight- and commuter-rail traffic, and removing a downtown rail corridor to foster commercial development.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/10/2005